Arjun Tendulkar, the son of legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, was part of IPL 2021 as one of the players for Mumbai Indians. The left-arm seam bowler was bought at the IPL auction 2021 at the base price of INR 20 lakhs. However, the question remains if he will get another opportunity at the IPL 2022 Players auction. Let's look at what prompted Mumbai to pick him at the 2021 auction and what are the prospects of him playing in the IPL 2022.
IPL 2021 stint with Mumbai Indians
During the 2021 IPL auction, Tendulkar was the last player to earn an IPL contract. It was obvious that MI wanted to lay the foundation for the youngster while he spends time with some of the finest names in the Indians' dressing room. His father, who himself is associated with the Mumbai-based franchise as the Icon, also got an opportunity to watch Arjun from close quarters. Arjun's association with Mumbai Indians has forged a few years ago.
Even in IPL 2020, he traveled with the franchise when the IPL was shifted to UAE. He has been constantly part of the franchise for a few years now. However, for the first time in IPL 2021, MI roped him as a player to get a closer look at how things unfold at the MI setup.
What prompted MI to include Arjun in IPL 2021?
The move to buy Arjun Tendulkar at the 2021 IPL auction came as a surprise move for most who have a keen eye on the game. However, Mumbai Indians' head coach stated it was a tactical move to include the youngster in the team.
We’ve looked at it purely on a skill basis,” MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “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. We have to give him some time and hopefully not put lot of pressure on him, to work his way up. That’s what we are there to help him do. So I think Sachin will be very proud if he could bowl like Arjun.”
Even Zaheer Khan, the director of Cricket Operations at Mumbai Indians, weighed on the pressure of the ‘Tendulkar' tag that would accompany Arjun forever.
“The added pressure of the name Tendulkar is always going to be there on him, something which he will have to live with. But we are very hopeful that the environment which we have around the team is going to help him. (In the end) he is just a youngster coming into the side. He has to prove himself, show all the coaching staff and the think-tank of the team that he has got the goods to belong there. So, what he does at the highest level is in his hands,” Zaheer said.
Will Arjun Tendulkar be a part of the IPL 2022 Auction Players list?
After getting an opportunity in the IPL 2021 Players auction, it will be interesting to see if he makes it to the auction in 2022. As per reports, the 2022 IPL auction is expected to be held in January 2022. There's no strong cricketing reason that makes a case for the 22-year old's inclusion in the 2022 IPL player auction. Ever since early 2021, he hasn't played any limited-overs game for his state team. Since his debut for the senior Mumbai state team, Arjun hasn't availed any opportunity to prove his skills as an all-rounder.
It will be a definite surprise if Mumbai Indians show their interest to include Tendulkar in the 2022 IPL Player auction. Even in IPL 2021, in an unfortunate turn of events, Arjun was ruled out midway through the season. While the franchise didn't prefer to reveal the reason, Simarjeet Singh was added as his replacement in the squad.
Aged 22, Arjun hasn't really taken the cricketing world by any storm in the limited opportunities that have come his way. On the flip side, with a three-year period in prospect, Mumbai might even look to invest in the youngster and groom him in the IPL. The franchise has had a rich history of backing young talent and allowing them to display their skills in the IPL. In Arjun's case, the MI think-tank must have constantly seen his rise as an all-rounder in the past few years. As a result, Arjun Tendulkar could yet again find his name on the IPL 2022 Auction Players list.