With defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Friday, a surprise face in the gallery was that of legend Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun Tendulkar. The youngster is in UAE as part of MI’s net-bowling unit.
Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments said that he has been working with the MI unit for the last three months and has been bowling to the players at the nets as well as working on his game under the watchful eyes of bowling coach Shane Bond and Director of Cricket Zaheer Khan.
“He has been with the team for the last three months as part of the net-bowling team and has been simultaneously working on his game under Zaheer and Bond’s guidance. A very disciplined kid, he is keen to grab as much from not just working under the coaching staff, but also by bowling to the top quality batters in the team,” the source said.
While Arjun was at the ground on Friday, his team didn’t disappoint as they thrashed KKR by eight wickets in what was a one-sided affair, to say the least. If the likes of Rahul Chahar dominated with the ball, Quinton de Kock stole the show with the bat in hand.
Calling the effort of the boys clinical, skipper Rohit Sharma said: “It’s special to chase and win, gives us plenty of confidence. We didn’t chase a lot in the first half (of the tournament), think we were clinical with both bat and ball, the expected performance was there.”
Proteas wicket-keeper de Kock hit an unbeaten 78 and put on 94 at the top with Rohit. The captain said he likes batting with the South African at the top of the innings.
“I prefer batting with him (de Kock), he’s very straightforward, likes to take on the bowler from the word go — but I usually like to assess the situation. Will let him play the way he wants to, don’t want to put any pressure on him,” he said.
Despite taking over the top spot in the points table, Rohit said the boys need to keep the foot on the pedal.
“This tournament is very funny, can’t take the foot off the pedal at any time, we have seen teams lose at times. The guys are very hungry, they haven’t played a lot over the last six months — be it Ishan or Hardik, they want to play and they want to win,” he said.