‘Have always tried to focus my balance between bat and ball’

In January 2013, when Sachin Tendulkar played at the Air Force Ground at Palam for the Ranji Trophy semi-final between Mumbai and Services, fans thronged the otherwise empty premises to get the glimpse of their hero ahead of the encounter.

A decade later, junior Tendulkar, Arjun, has travelled to the same venue, but with the Goa side to face Services in this year’s Ranji Trophy fixture. However, unlike 2013, Arjun’s presence did not bring in much attention- maybe because it was the first day – Day 2 may be different.

But, as has been the case with a youngster growing up with a famous surname, outside word hasn’t really bothered the left-handed allrounder. Tuesday was no different.

He is focused. Focused to play. Focused to do well with both bat and ball.

“Starting with my bowling, I just stick with the basics. Bowl more and more. If I’m practicing for white-ball format, then I try and bowl as many Yorkers as I can,” Arjun told CricketNext.com in a exclusive chat after the day proceedings.

“With red-ball, it’s about bowling longer spells. For instance, bowling 10 overs at a stretch to get myself into that groove.”

“Fitness-wise, it’s about strength training like squats, bench press, dead lifts, chin ups, different exercises for calf. These are large pool of exercises that I shuffle around,” he added.

Arjun had done his bit with the ball in the first innings after picking up two wickets and bowling at a brilliant economy rate of 2.08 and was padded up to walk in next if a wicket falls.

Well, that didn’t happen and he didn’t really have to take the guard but he made sure that he bats.

Along with the coaching staff and Siddesh Lad (former Mumbai player who now plays for Goa as a professional), Arjun went to the nets after stumps and practiced his strokes till the light faded away.

Quizzed about his batting, the Goa cricketer said that he is someone who focuses on both batting and bowling.

“This has been my regime since the very beginning. I have always tried to focus my balance between bat and ball.”

Being a left-arm pacer himself, Tendulkar is of the opinion that a left-handed fast bowler brings in a lot of variety in the setup.

“A left-arm pacer keeps a lot of importance in any setup. It adds variety to the setup. If a team has a good off spinner that adds up because an off spinner can create that rough which is helpful. A left-arm pacer and an off spinner can bowl in tandem,” he said.

‘In favour of run-out at non-strikers’ end; but won’t do it’

Run-outs at the non-striker’s end has been grabbing a lot of limelight recently. In fact, there have been instances of the same in the women’s T20 World Cup as well. The mode of dismissal has received mixed reactions both from the fans and from the former cricketers.

When asked if he is in favour of such a dismissal, Arjun answered in the affirmative and said he is completely in favour of it.

“I’m completely in favour of Mankading. It’s in the Law. For the people who say it’s against the spirit of the game, I disagree,” he said.

“I personally won’t do it because I can’t stop and remove the bails in my run up. It’s too much effort and I won’t waste my energy in it but if someone does it, I’m in favour of it,” he concluded.

#focus #balance #bat #ball

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