In a country where cricket is religion, Sachin Tendulkar is God and being related to God comes with its own set of issues. When Arjun Tendulkar stepped on the field for his first practice session, he must have anticipated the constant media glare and minutest scrutiny of his performances. His surname is not worth its weight in the field where the only measure of success is performance and yet in his debut U-19 appearance it is his surname which has shot him to media limelight at the expense of his teammates.

His start to his career was unfortunately not as memorable as he would have liked it to be since he could get only one wicket against Sri Lanka and made an exit on a duck. But unfortunately, the focus was on his dismal performance rather than appreciating the stellar performances by Ayush Badoni and Atharwa Taide. Badoni scored an unbeaten 185 besides taking four wickets, and Atharwa Taide, cracked a 113 off 160 balls. Due to their strategic centuries, India reached a huge total of 589. In reply, Sri Lanka were 177/3 at the end of Day 3, with Tendulkar struggling for 7 overs without taking a wicket.

Arjun’s selection in the team was highly controversial since his performances have so far been modest at best and while the media has hyped up his performances, there is no indication of the spark that is his father’s yet. It is this lack of performance that has sparked the nepotism debate and has set the social media abuzz!

While one needs to acknowledge and appreciate the contribution of the youngsters Ayush Badoni and Atharwa Taide, it will be a task in front of young Tendulkar to prove his critics wrong and live up to his legacy. He will have multiple opportunities to do so since India are scheduled to play two Youth Test matches and five ODIs. The second Youth Test will begin from July 24 in Hambantota while the ODIs begin from July 30 in Colombo and will be played till August 10.