Born in 1999, they both are left-arm pacers. Being from the same batch, one represented India in Under-19 ‘Tests’ in 2018, while the other made the cut for the Under-19 World Cup the same year. Despite the similarities, their maiden outing as opponents in the Indian Premier League ended up in a stark contrast at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday night.
Facing a stiff task of defending 15 runs in the last over, Arshdeep Singh not only conceded just two runs but also broke the stump twice to help Punjab Kings complete its second comeback of the night that resulted in a memorable win from a near-hopeless situation.
Had it not been for the 16th over of the night, bowled by the other left-arm pacer - Arjun Tendulkar - the Kings’ comeback may well have never begun in the first place. After all, the 31-run over started off a half-an-hour madness that resulted in the Kings adding 96 runs in the last five overs.
Despite their starkly different outings, both the left-arm pacers have had their share of being overtly criticised. Arshdeep has bounced back after facing flak for dropping a simple catch against Pakistan during the last year’s Asia Cup. Arjun, on the other hand, has been dealing with the pressure of following into the footsteps of his famous father ever since he took up cricket.
Heaping praise on Arshdeep for his control, Mumbai Indians head coach Mark Boucher admitted that Arjun, playing only his third IPL match, will find it difficult to deal with the over that went awry for him.
“It will be tough on him (Arjun), coming in to bowl at the back end at Wankhede where the conditions were good to bat on. He, may be, got one or two (deliveries) wrong, he probably felt under the pressure but he will live and learn from it,” Boucher said after the Kings escaped to a 13-run win.
“It is not the end of the world; it is still not the early days but mid days in the IPL and, hopefully, he will come back stronger. He has full support of the support staff and players to try and get over this as quickly as possible.”
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