The legacy of one of the greatest players to represent the Indian crest is set to continue as Sachin Tendulkar's son Arjun has been picked for the Indian U-19 squad for the tour of Sri Lanka.
The tour is slated for next month (July) where the youngsters will play two four-day matches and five One-Day matches. Arjun has been picked to play for the four-day matches.
"There is a clear direction from BCCI and coach Rahul Dravid that those who will surpass 19 by this year should not be selected even if they have performed. Let them play Ranji Trophy according to Rahul. So a lot of boys ahead of Arjun are disqualified," a senior BCCI official told PTI today.
However, Harsh Tyagi (49 wickets), a left-arm spinner from Delhi is in both the squads.
When a source close to the selection committee was asked how Arjun despite being 43rd in the wicket takers list made the cut, he explained: "If you look at the List, Arjun is the only genuine quick bowler who has more than 15 wickets. Most of the bowlers above him are spinners with only Ajay Dev Goud (33 wickets) being a genuine all-rounder. He is a slow medium bowler while Arjun is quick bowler."
Also in a zonal U-19 match between West and South Zone at Una, Tendulkar junior got 4 for 37 including three wickets in one spell.
"A lot of people don't know U-19 zonals are happening at Una and Arjun has done well there."
Arjun has trained under former India fast bowler Subroto Banerjee, a close friend of Tendulkar.
He has also bowled at the India nets earlier and was in fast bowlers' camp at Dharamsala organised by the BCCI.
Asked if the youngster will be under pressure, the senior official said: "He is eyeing to become a professional cricketer. He is another member of this Indian squad and he will have to perform. The selectors have given him a chance looking at his potential."
Meanwhile, Aryan Juyal, who was the second wicketkeeper in the victorious World Cup squad, has been included despite the rule that no player who has played one U-19 WC would be in the squad.
"Juyal is very young and has not graduated to first class level. So it's better he gets some match practice," the source said.
WV Raman has been given an extension and will be the coach of this team as Dravid will be with the A squad in England.
The Indian U-19 Squads:
FOUR-DAY MATCHES: Anuj Rawat (C) (WK) (DDCA), Atharva Taide (VCA), Devdutt Padikkal (KSCA), Aryan Juyal (VC) (WK) (UPCA), Yash Rathod (VCA), Ayush Badoni (DDCA), Sameer Choudhary (UPCA), Siddharth Desai (GCA), Harsh Tyagi (DDCA), Y.D. Mangwani (MHCA), Arjun Tendulkar (MCA), Nehal Wadhera (PCA), Akash Pande (GCA), Mohit Jangra (UPCA), Pawan Shah (MHCA).
ONE-DAY MATCHES: Aryan Juyal (C) (WK) (UPCA), Anuj Rawat (WK) (DDCA), Devdutt Padikkal (KSCA), Atharva Taide (VCA), Yash Rathod (VCA), Ayush Badoni (DDCA), Sameer Choudhary (UPCA), Siddharth Desai (GCA), Harsh Tyagi (DDCA), Y.D. Mangwani (MHCA), Ajay Devgaud (HYD), Y. Jaiswal (MCA), Mohit Jangra (UPCA), Akash Pande (GCA), Pawan Shah (MHCA).
Head Coach: Mr. WV Raman
(With PTI Inputs)