It will be a huge learning curve for Arjun Tendulkar, son of Indian batting maestro, during his stint with Mumbai Indians in the IPL this year. Image Credit: Reuters file

Kolkata; It was not exactly a surprise that Arjun Tendulkar was drafted by Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League action in Chennai on Friday, but the 21-year-old with the famous surname should be ready to fight his own battle from here onwards.

The memes and trolling have been flooding the social media with insinuations of nepotism, some of them quite harsh, but it’s somewhat unrealistic to see him make a dent into a pace attack of the five-time champions which boasts names like Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Hardik Pandya. “He has to prove himself. He has to show all the coaching staff, and the team think-tank, that he belongs there,’’ said Zaheer Khan, the team’s director of cricket operations.

“What he does at the highest level is something in his own hands,” Zaheer put things in perspective in a video conference.


“Since childhood, I’ve been a die-hard fan of the Mumbai Indians ... I’m excited to join the team and can’t wait to wear the blue-and-gold,” said Tendulkar jr, who went for his base price of $ 27,522.

“We’ve looked at it purely on a skill basis,” head coach Mahela Jayawardene said at the obvious question. “There’s going to be a big tag on his head because of Sachin. But luckily he’s a bowler, not a batsman. I think Sachin will be very proud if he could bowl like Arjun,” he added.

Arjun, meanwhile, had been no stranger to charges of nepotism since he made his debut in the Under-16 Mumbai team. After his stints with the under-16 and under-19 Mumbai teams, Arjun made his senior debut in last month’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which made him eligible to be registered to be listed for the auction.

“We have to give him time and hopefully not put a lot of pressure on him. Just let him evolve and work his way up,” Jayawardene, a former Sri Lanka captain and one of their premier batsmen said.

Sachin Tendulkar retired in 2013 as international cricket’s most prolific batsman with a record 34,000-plus runs and 100 centuries.becomes