Mumbai: Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene said that the side picked Arjun Tendulkar purely on the basis of his skill sets. Arjun, who is the son of former legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs 20 lakhs in the mini-auction of IPL on Thursday. Jayawardene said the stint with Mumbai Indians will be a learning process for Arjun. The former Sri Lanka skipper also said the 21-year-old left-arm medium-pacer will learn and evolve his game with time.
“We’ve looked at it purely on a skill basis. I mean, there is going to be a big tag on his head because of Sachin. But, luckily, he’s a bowler, not a batsman. So I think Sachin will be very proud if he could bowl like Arjun,” Jayawardene was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“I think it’s going to be a learning process for Arjun. He just started playing for Mumbai, and now the franchise. He will learn the ropes; he will evolve. He’s still young. A very focused young man,” he further said. “We have to give him time and hopefully not put a lot of pressure on him either. Just let him evolve and work his way up, and that’s what we’re there to help him to do,” Jayawardene added.
Arjun was also the Mumbai Indians net bowler during the IPL 2020 and was the last player to be bought in the IPL auction on Thursday. “I have spent a lot of time in the nets, trying to teach him some tricks of the trade, he is a hardworking kid, he is keen on learning, it is an exciting part. The added pressure of being Sachin Tendulkar’s son will always be on him, it is something he needs to live with, the environment of the team will help him. It will help him become a good cricketer, how many times a youngster gets picked in the auction and everyone is talking about him, he has to prove himself and he has to show everyone he has the goods,” said Mumbai Indians’ Director of Cricket Operations, Zaheer Khan during a virtual press conference.
In the players’ auction held on Thursday, defending champions Mumbai Indians also picked up, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jimmy Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, and Piyush Chawla. When asked about acquiring all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, Zaheer said: “He is someone who has capabilities of a good all-rounder, it is all about timing, we have timed it well. Neesham has the capabilities and that is what we all think, hence the opportunity. It is all about timing, it is all about getting a chance to prove yourself.”