Dad shows Arjun how it’s done in the big leagues | india | Hindustan Times
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Dad shows Arjun how it’s done in the big leagues

Sachin Tendulkar walks through the dressing room, past the indoor nets to the outdoor nets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Next to the diminutive genius is his son, Arjun. Rohit Bhaskar reports.

india Updated: Dec 24, 2011 00:10 IST
Rohit Bhaskar
Sachin-Tendulkar-tosses-a-ball-while-fielding-during-fifth-day-s-play-of-the-third-Test-cricket-match-between-India-and-the-West-Indies-at-The-Wankhede-stadium-in-Mumbai
Sachin-Tendulkar-tosses-a-ball-while-fielding-during-fifth-day-s-play-of-the-third-Test-cricket-match-between-India-and-the-West-Indies-at-The-Wankhede-stadium-in-Mumbai

Sachin Tendulkar walks through the dressing room, past the indoor nets to the outdoor nets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The nets are located in the basement level; a swarm of Indian fans watching from above let out a bellow at the sight of the Master Blaster. Next to the diminutive genius is a 13-year-old in a florescent yellow tee, black three-fourths and Ferrari cap, with a striking resemblance to Tendulkar — it’s his son, Arjun.

The little Tendulkar, growing up at a rapid pace, now stands almost as tall as his dad’s 5’4” frame. Unlike his father, however, he’s a southpaw. A budding left-arm pacer and a left-handed bat with strokes that even his old man would be proud of.

Training big time
First up, Arjun spends time with Zaheer Khan, no mean role model for any budding left-arm quick. The discussion hinges on how to grip a ball to extract the maximum amount of seam and swing. Skipper MS Dhoni then goes up to the Dhirubhai Ambani International School student and shares some light-hearted banter.

The youngster and Sachin then head to the indoor nets. While Tendulkar is loosening up, Arjun bowls his left-armers to Team India’s computer analyst Dhananjay, after Sachin asks him to bat. Following a brief stint facing the bowling machine, Tendulkar rolls his arm over as the left-handed Arjun shows his wares with the bat. Finally, Tendulkar junior closes out his session, bowling to Virender Sehwag.

Getting the feel
Former Australia batsman Dean Jones, who gave an encouraging word to Arjun afterwards, says this wasn’t the first time he saw a cricketing father give his son a taste of the big league.

“I remember Swampy (Geoff Marsh) bringing a young Shaun (Marsh) to practice with him. The thing it does is it gives them a glimpse of how the game works at the highest level.

“If he (Arjun) does ever choose to go down the same road, he’ll look back at these experiences and won’t be overawed if he reaches this level,” Jones told HT.

During the England tour this summer, Arjun had joined his father at a practice session at the legendary Lord’s cricket ground in London.