Arjun Tendulkar Will Make His IPL Debut This Year For MI
A left-arm seam bowler with the ability to swing the new ball and who is also more than just handy with the bat. Forget the IPL, there is a good chance that Arjun Tendulkar would soon be added to the Indian squads in 12 months’ time.
Remember how meteoric Hardik Pandya’s rise was in top-level cricket. Hardik made his IPL debut for Mumbai Indians in 2015, in the season where he hit 112 runs at a stunning strike rate of 180 and took only 1 wicket.
Seam-bowling all-rounder, you say - team India fast-tracked him in their setup, and the Baroda all-rounder made his T20I debut in January 2016, before playing his second IPL season. Mumbai Indians did and still get immense credit for scouting Pandya, providing him with the opportunity, and giving the country the heir to Kapil Dev.
Mumbai Indians can make a similar contribution to Indian cricket - and, of course, en route gain success themselves - should they hand a debut to Arjun Tendulkar in the upcoming IPL 2023, and should the youngster do well in the tournament.
Arjun Tendulkar has been with Mumbai Indians as a player in the past two seasons
Before that he’d been traveling with the players to increase his skillset and learning.
After impressing at the junior level, Arjun was given his Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy debut by Mumbai in January 21. He featured only in a couple of games in that tournament and warmed the Mumbai bench for the rest of the domestic season. He even got a call-up for Mumbai’s Ranji squad, but there too didn’t get a chance.
Knowing that he is unlikely to get chances, or regular ones, in a strong Mumbai team, eventually ahead of the 2022/23 domestic season, Arjun made a bold, tough call of leaving Mumbai cricket and transferring to Goa, where he has made a solid impact in both white-ball and red-ball cricket.
In the 2022/23 SMAT, Arjun was the second-highest wicket-taker for Goa, with 10 scalps in 7 T20s with a best of 4/10, and managed a terrific economy of 5.69. He bagged 8 wickets in 7 List-A Vijay Hazare matches too.
For Goa, Arjun got to make his first-class and Ranji debut where he even proved his mettle as a batsman. On his Ranji Trophy debut, Arjun cracked a century - just like his father Sachin Tendulkar had done - alongside picking up 3 wickets.
Looking at Mumbai Indians’ squad, it might just be the time that they hand Arjun his IPL debut. 7 out of 8 of MI’s overseas players are first-XI material. But given the fact that they struggled with their bowling last season, it can be assumed that MI will pick Richardson and Behrendorff both to partner Bumrah and Archer. This would leave Tim David and Cameron Green as the other two overseas.
It also means that for a lower-order all-rounder, MI will have to turn to their Indian all-rounders: they have Ramandeep Singh, Shams Mulani, and Arjun Tendulkar among Indian all-rounders. Mulani is a spinner, so that would rule him out of the home matches, leaving a spot for either Ramandeep or Arjun. Ramandeep made his MI debut last season and was impressive.
There’s a long way to go for Arjun to become a household name in India, for reasons of his cricketing acumen and not for his surname. A start for that would be a debut and a good showing in the IPL