Trying to make a career in cricket and being born as the son of a famous player, looks to be an ideal situation. But, surprisingly such success stories have been rare. Except for Lala Amarnath's (India's first Test centurion) son Mohinder Amarmath, few heirs have managed to touch their father's heights.
It has certainly not been easy for scions of the 1983 World Cup heroes. Rohan Gavaskar (Sunil Gavaskar's son), Stuart Binny (Roger Binny's son), Kunal Lal (Madan Lal's son) all failed to come anywhere close to their dad's achievements.
The reasons for the extra pressure can vary. Mohinder said, for him it was the case of being wronged by people who were jealous of his father's success. During his speech when receiving the Board's 'Lifetime Achievement award', Mohinder recalled: "When I started playing, my father told me, 'beta Amarnath naam hai, mushkile bahut aayengi raaste mein (son, being an Amarnath, you will face a lot of difficulties in your path)'."
Left-arm pace bowler, Kunal, said in an interview to a national daily after joining the Indian Cricket League couple of years ago following a frustrating period with the Delhi team: "The DDCA and everybody around always saw me as Madan Lal's son, never as Kunal Lal. If I didn't do well in one match, the selectors began speaking about me immediately but wouldn't do for other people who haven't performed either. I have always gone under the scanner because I have a famous father."
Hero of Chennai Super Kings opening match, Anirudha Srikkanth is also a son of a 1983 hero. His father is former India skipper and current chairman of selectors, Krishnamachri Srikkanth. Like his father, Anirudha is also an opener and comparisons are inevitable. Every time he walks out to bat people look for the Srikkanth strokes, the daredevilry of the 1980s dasher. But, Anirudha seems quite aware of the pitfalls of comparisons. All talks of similarities of style with his dad are dealt with a straight bat by Anirudha, who scored 55-ball 64 to win the man of the match against Kolkata Knight Riders.
"I don't pay attention to it. I have not modeled my game on anyone. I have just tried to be as natural as I can be," retorted Anirudha, when asked how he reacts when people compare him with his father.
Talking about his father's style, he said: "He had his own brand of cricket. He has done well for India during his time. He had his strengths and his weakness. He' a very important man (in my career), and I have learnt a lot from him, but I have never tried to copy him. I just look at the ball and do what comes natural."
However the aggressive traits are unmistakable. Is there is conscious effort to be an entertainer like his dad. "I don't believe in all that. It's about your role in the team and as long as you perform you are going to entertain."