A yorker by Arjun Tendulkar, the teenage son of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, hit the foot of England batsman Jonny Bairstow and the 27-year-old had to limped out of the nets. He was in pain of some time, but fortunately for him and his fans the injury was not serious enough for Bairstow to miss out the first test against South Africans.
This is not the first time Arjun has trained with the England cricket team. The Tendulkar family has a house near Lord's and he has often been spotted at the venue. Arjun has come through the ranks in Mumbai cricket. Four years back, he was included in the Mumbai Under-14 team, but didn't play after controversy erupted over his selection.
Later, he played for the Mumbai Under-16 team as an all-rounder and opened the batting and bowling. The teenager has now been picked in the probables for the off-season camp for Mumbai U-19 cricketers. After the Lord's incident, Arjun called his `personal coach,' Subroto Banerjee, to give him a feedback about his bowling. The former India pacer wasn't surprised when his ward told him about the pain he caused to Bairstow. “He was pleased with the way he bowled. He was swinging the ball back in with good pace, and one of those deliveries hit Bairstow hard on his toe. It's heartening, but I'm not surprised, since he possesses a good, quick inswinging yorker.
“I'm happy with the rapid development in his game since I began training him when he was just 14. At 17, he's a far more mature cricketer now and has vastly improved. He just needs to carry this further. In two years, he'll crack the team. By 19, a pacer is ready and mature,” Banerjee says.
While Sachin stood at 5 feet four inches, son Arjun is a strapping lad at 6 feet three inches which is considered to be an ideal height for a fast bowler.“He's gained height only in the last one-and-half years. “I've taught Arjun things like how to bring the ball in, position of the wrist, but at the end of the day, it's all his effort,” says Banerjee, who's also the pace bowling coach at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. A back injury had laid Arjun low last year, but Banerjee says that his `student' is “bowling at good speed since the last three-four months, since recovering from the injury.”