Mumbai cricketer Arjun Tendulkar has been named in India’s under-19 squad for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, the BCCI announced on Thursday.
Arjun has been named only for the squad that will play the four-day matches and not the one-dayers. The four-day side will be led by Delhi’s Anuj Rawat in the longer format, the report added. He was part of the core group of U-19 cricketers who attended a recent camp at Zonal Cricket Academy, and was watched by the junior team selectors, according to a report in the Indian Express.
The two four-day games and five one-days against hosts Sri Lanka are slated to be held from 11th July to 11th August, 2018.
Left arm quick Arjun, son of Sachin Tendulkar, turned 18 in September last year. He was part of Mumbai’s Under-19 squad in the Cooch Behar Trophy last season where he picked up two five-wicket hauls and a four-wicket haul. He returned with 18 wickets overall with an average of 25.22 for Mumbai. Both his five-wicket hauls included the wickets of the opposition’s top four batsmen.
Arjun’s all-round abilities also caught the eye during Cricket Club of India’s tour to Australia last year, where his presence in the tournament caught quite a bit of media attention.
“I used to play taekwondo, cricket football, swimming and somehow cricket kicked in and everything else took a back seat,” he was quoted as saying by ABC News then. “I just got stronger, grew taller and I loved bowling fast from my childhood. I thought I may as well be a quick bowler because there aren’t many in India.”
Arjun was also part of the senior team’s net sessions, watched by India head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharat Arun. He bowled at the nets at Wankhede Stadium soon ahead of the three-match ODI series against New Zealand last year. He also caught the attention when bowling to the English team during their nets session at Lord’s ahead of the South Africa series, when a toe-crushing yorker to Johnny Bairstow caused an injury scare.
The India A team’s tour of Sri Lanka is scheduled for next month.
The BCCI release confirmed that former India cricketer WV Raman will be the head coach for the side as Rahul Dravid will be with the India A side touring the United Kingdom.
“There is a clear direction from BCCI and coach Rahul Dravid that those who will surpass 19 by this year should not be selected even if they have performed. Let them play Ranji Trophy according to Rahul. So a lot of boys ahead of Arjun are disqualified,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.
When a source close to the selection committee was asked how Arjun despite being 43rd in the wicket takers list made the cut, he explained: “If you look at the List, Arjun is the only genuine quick bowler who has more than 15 wickets. Most of the bowlers above him are spinners with only Ajay Dev Goud (33 wickets) being a genuine all-rounder. He is a slow medium bowler while Arjun is quick bowler.”
Also in a zonal U-19 match between West and South Zone at Una, Tendulkar junior got 4 for 37 including three wickets in one spell.
“A lot of people don’t know U-19 zonals are happening at Una and Arjun has done well there.”
Arjun has trained under former India fast bowler Subroto Banerjee, a close friend of Tendulkar.
India U19 squad for 2 four-day games: Anuj Rawat (C) (WK) (DDCA), Atharva Taide (VCA), Devdutt Padikkal (KSCA), Aryan Juyal (VC) (WK) (UPCA), Yash Rathod (VCA), Ayush Badoni (DDCA), Sameer Choudhary (UPCA), Siddharth Desai (GCA), Harsh Tyagi (DDCA), Y.D. Mangwani (MHCA), Arjun Tendulkar (MCA), Nehal Wadhera (PCA), Akash Pande (GCA), Mohit Jangra (UPCA), Pawan Shah (MHCA).
India U19 squad for one-days: Aryan Juyal (C) (WK) (UPCA), Anuj Rawat (WK) (DDCA), Devdutt Padikkal (KSCA), Atharva Taide (VCA), Yash Rathod (VCA), Ayush Badoni (DDCA), Sameer Choudhary (UPCA), Siddharth Desai (GCA), Harsh Tyagi (DDCA), Y.D. Mangwani (MHCA), Ajay Devgaud (HYD), Y. Jaiswal (MCA), Mohit Jangra (UPCA), Akash Pande (GCA), Pawan Shah (MHCA).