Rohit on Tendulkar Jr: 'He understands what he wants to do and is quite confident'

Arjun Tendulkar, playing his second IPL game, finished the job for Mumbai Indians by bowling a five-run final over and getting his first wicket

Rohit Sharma celebrates after Arjun Tendulkar took the match-winning wicket, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2023, Hyderabad, April 18, 2023

Arjun Tendulkar picked up his first IPL wicket with the last ball of the game  •  Associated Press

It's perhaps not the toughest last over he will ever bowl in an IPL game, with the opposition eight down and 20 runs still to get, but for Arjun Tendulkar, it was a test all right. Can he hold his nerve? Does he have it in him? Is he more than just the most famous surname in Indian cricket? On the night, in Hyderabad, Tendulkar did what was asked of him, sticking to the wide-yorker plan, giving little in terms of bat-swinging opportunity to the batters, and competing the job against Sunrisers Hyderabad, getting his first IPL wicket in his second game to wrap things up.
"Obviously it was great getting my first IPL wicket. I just had to focus on what was in hand, the plan and execute it," Tendulkar said after the game on the official broadcast. "Our plan [in the last over] was just to bowl wide and get the long boundary [on the off side] into play, make the batsman hit it to the longer side."
In his first game of the season, and his IPL career, Tendulkar bowled the first and third overs of the match to Kolkata Knight Riders. He conceded four and 13 runs for returns of 2-0-17-0. Nothing too spectacular. Nothing too problematic. This time, too, it could have ended with overs one and three, for 0 for 14, but the late Sunrisers fightback meant the bowlers had to be moved around, and it fell on him to bowl the last over.
He wasn't too hassled, he said. And he didn't look nervous either.
"I love bowling, I am happy to bowl anytime the captain asks me to and just stick to the team plan and give my best," he said afterwards.
Rohit Sharma, his captain, who took the catch that got Tendulkar his wicket, said, "Arjun has been a part of this team for the last three years [though he didn't make the XI]. I have seen him grow over the years. He understands what he wants to do and he is quite confident about what he wants to do for the team as well.
"We saw in this lead up to the IPL what he was doing; he was bowling fast, nailing those yorkers, and quite clear in his plans as well. Keeping things easy - that's what he is trying to do [for the team]. He is trying to swing the new ball and bowl yorkers at the death."
Tougher tests will come as long as Tendulkar keeps doing enough to keep his place in the Mumbai Indians starting XI, which may or may not have been the case had Jasprit Bumrah been around. And for help and tactical support, there's always Tendulkar Sr, around, in the same squad, and at home.
"We [Sachin Tendulkar and he] talk about cricket, we discuss tactics before the game and he tells me to back what I practise every game," Tendulkar Jr said. "That's it. [In today's game] I just focused on my release, bowling good lengths and lines upfront. If it swings, it's a bonus, if it doesn't, so be it."