Arjun, Sachin Tendulkar's son, has been selected to play for India's under-19 squad. Arjun was once rejected by Aussie pace legend Dennis Lillee when he approached MRF Pace Academy in Chennai to train as a pace bowler. Lillee advised him to train as a batsman. But it's as a pacer that Arjun, who will turn 19 this September, is seeking to make his mark. The left-hander will be part of the junior squad that will tour Sri Lanka in July to play two four-day matches. The team will be accompanied by another legend, Sachin’s teammate and former India captain Rahul Dravid, who coaches the junior and 'A' teams.
Arjun's coach, Atul Gaikwad, said, “Arjun’s hard work has paid off.” He was roped in by Sachin himself to coach Arjun three years ago. It hasn’t been an easy journey for Arjun. “I’ve seen that boy very closely. From suffering back-to-back stress fractures three years ago to struggling with a spate of injuries, he has worked very hard to get here,” said Gaikwad. Having remodelled his action recently after suffering several injuries, Arjun can whip up good pace, the primary reason why the selectors opted for him. “On a good day, he can consistently touch 135 (kmph),” said Gaikwad.
Like any son born to a famous father, Arjun is bound to face the pressure of comparison and questions about whether he really deserves his spot.