What skills does Arjun Tendulkar have?
Unlike his illustrious father who initially aspired to be a fast bowler, Arjun is close to becoming one. He is a tall left-arm quick who gets the ball to swing late. He is also primarily a lower-middle-order batsman, but is working hard on what his coaches believe is his "secondary skillset" currently.
Who are his coaches?
For the last two years, Arjun has been closely working on his bowling action with Atul Gaikwad, a Pune-based coach and biomechanics expert. Arjun's action has had to be remodelled after he suffered from two stress fractures that ruled him out of age-group cricket for close to 10 months in 2016-17. While Gaikwad doesn't have any first-class experience, his expertise and inputs have been valued, so much that he's also been used by the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
Apart from Gaikwad, Arjun also works on a one-on-one basis with former India fast bowler Subroto Banerjee, who, till recently was a bowling consultant with the Ranji Trophy winning Vidarbha side. Banerjee has previously been credited for his work with Umesh Yadav and more recently Rajneesh Gurbani, Vidarbha's leading wicket-taker of the 2017-18 season.
With designated India Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid away with the India A team in England, Arjun will work closely with former India batsman WV Raman, who is in charge of the Under-19 side for the tour of Sri Lanka.
What has Arjun done to merit selection?
Arjun has been a part of an ongoing residential camp conducted by the NCA in Dharamsala, where he is understood to have impressed the junior selection panel, headed by former India spinner Aashish Kapoor, during intra-academy matches held in Una, Himachal Pradesh. ESPNcricinfo understands his performances in Mumbai's age-group circuit also played a part. Arjun picked up 19 wickets in five matches, including two five-wicket hauls, for Mumbai Under-19 in the 2017-18 Cooch Behar Trophy.
In September 2017, Arjun was picked in the one-day side for the JY Lele invitational tournament in Baroda. Although not a BCCI tournament, the performances there paved way for his eventual inclusion in the Mumbai Under-19 set-up.
What are the factors that have contributed to Arjun's rise?
Exposure internationally, something not many of his peers are used to. He has already been a part of a number of representative clubs in India and England, he trains at the indoor academy at Lord's and has even bowled to members of the England team in the nets.
Last year, he landed a yorker on Jonny Bairstow's toe to give him an injury scare ahead of the South Africa Tests. He is also a regular net bowler for the Indian team, whenever they play in Mumbai and also bowled to the India women's team ahead of their World Cup final against England at Lord's last year.
In January this year, Arjun represented a Cricket Club of India XI against a Hong Kong-based side at the Bradman Oval in Adelaide, where he made a 27-ball 48 as an opener apart from picking four wickets. In July 2017, he was part of an MCC squad that played two matches against Namibia Under-19 in England. In his first outing, he picked up four wickets to bowl Namibia out for 49. MCC XI won both matches.
Does his selection mean he has a good chance to play at the next Under-19 World Cup?
No. Arjun would be 20 years and five months when the 2020 edition kicks off in South Africa, which will automatically rule him out of contention. However, he will gain valuable experience and match time in the interim, along with the experience of working with Dravid.