Greg Chappell, who is in Mumbai to launch a coaching scheme for youngsters, found an unexpected fan at his heels at the MIG Cricket Club on Monday. It was a five-year-old growing under the shadow of a genius; a five-year-old who was inviting as much adulation as his father at the suburban club.
Pravin Barve, the secretary of the club, introduced Chappell to Arjun Sachin Tendulkar, who had aptly turned up in his cricket whites.
"Oh, is it Sachin's son?" said the Australian. "Hello, little fella. What's your name?"
The little fella, looking a little bewildered at the media cluster and the 56-year-old stranger, blurted after some thought, "Arjun."
"Andrew?" asked a rather confused-sounding Chappell.
More bewilderment from Tendulkar junior's end.
"Oh... Arjun," Chappell corrected himself after some prompting.
Arjun was then directed to sit with the former Aussie captain. "He has some questions for you," someone told Chappell.
"Oh I don't think he needs to ask me any questions. He has the best batsman to answer them," grinned Chappell at Arjun's obviously puzzled stare.
Chappell continued, "So, do you bowl or bat like your dad?"
"Oh yes, you do? What's your highest score? What's the most number of runs you've made?"
Arjun thought long and hard. "Eight."
"That's good. That's a lot of runs for a five-year-old. How did you score them? You hit boundaries or ran singles?"
"Fours," the delighted young man sounded off.
"And what is your favourite shot? The square cut, the pull or the cover drive?"
Things were getting a bit too technical for a lot of people in the room, let alone a five-year-old who had yet to come to terms with the breezy Australian accent.
"Six," was Arjun's monosyllabic answer.
"Okay, so it doesn't matter how you hit it as long as you hit a six. Good!"
The press photographers were taking too long to appear and Chappell and Arjun were running out of topics of conversation; they decided it was time to say goodbye.
"He is a intelligent young man; thinks a lot before speaking," said Chappell of the youngster. He then recalled that the first official game of any sorts that he had played was at the age of 10.
"But I had started playing in the backyard when I was three. And, by the time I was five, I had pretty much started expressing my style of batting."