‘We have looked at it purely on a skill basis’-Mahela Jayawardene on buying Arjun Tendulkar

Mumbai Indians management has defended their decision of picking Arjun Tendulkar in the recently concluded IPL auctions that was concluded yesterday in Chennai.

He was also last player in the auction who was picked and was expected that he will be brought by Mumbai Indians who bought him at his base price.

Arjun getting his maiden IPL contract despite not getting selected in major cricket tournaments has sparked a new controversy on social media.

Some even called him a product of nepotism as they questioned his credentials. But amidst all these, Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene has insisted that the decision to sign Arjun was purely based on skill.

“We have looked at it purely on a skills-basis. There is going to be a big tag on his head because of Sachin, but luckily he is a bowler, not a batsman, so I think Sachin will be very proud if he could bowl like Arjun,” Jayawardene said at a virtual interaction after the auction.

“It is going to be a learning process for Arjun. He has just started playing for Mumbai and now with the franchise, so he will learn the ropes. He will evolve, he is still young but a very focused young man, so you have to give him some time and hopefully not put lot of pressure on him either. Just let him evolve and work his way up. That is what we are there to help him do,” he added.

Zaheer Khan, Mumbai Indians director of Cricket who was available in the auction has defended the decision on what made them pick Arjun Tendulkar in the squad to which he said the young all rounder has worked hard on his skills and he has also developed lot of skills in his armoury.

“I have spent a lot of time with him in the nets, working alongside him, trying to teach him a few tricks of the trade and that has been going well. Like Mahela was mentioning, he is a hard-working kid and really keen on learning, so that is an exciting part,” he said.

“The added pressure is always going to be there and is something he will have to live with… The likes of Shane Bond (bowling coach), Mahela, the whole system which we have around the team is definitely going to help him become a better cricketer. We are looking at things under a very simple lens. He is just a youngster coming in the side. He has to prove himself, he has to show all the coaching staff and the think-tank of the team that he is got the goods to belong there, so what he does there at the highest level, is in his hands,” said Zaheer.