Arjun Tendulkar: The burden of being Sachin Tendulkar’s son

May 2, 2023  –After Arjun Tendulkar made a sedate Indian Premier League (IPL) debut last month, many cricket fans have compared him with his father and cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar, and cast doubts on his skills. Suresh Menon writes on why such comparisons are unfair to the young pace bowler.

Few players have had the spotlight trained on them in the IPL to the extent Arjun Tendulkar has.

This was inevitable, given his surname. It takes a particularly brave son to follow in the footsteps of a father widely considered to be the best in the field. Of Mozart’s two adult sons, both gifted pianists, one chose to become an accountant and translator, while the other was a composer and teacher. They didn’t have to deal with social media trolling if they got something wrong.

Arjun isn’t so lucky. When he gave away 31 runs in an over against Punjab Kings, the word “nepotism” figured in many reactions. When he bowled an excellent final over against Sunrisers Hyderabad, conceding just five runs while defending 20, there were fewer responses. To paraphrase Mark Anthony, the terrible lives on, the good is often forgotten.

At 23, the left-arm medium pacer might not be the fastest or most exciting bowler to appear on the national scene. At 130 kmph, his speed is not guaranteed to hurry batsmen used to the pace of Anrich Nortje or Jofra Archer.

But he still deserves to be left alone to grow at his own pace, in his own time.

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