A day after Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajputs untimely demise in Mumbai, two city cricketers and a former coach of Indian cricketer MS Dhoni on Monday recalled their meetings with the deceased actor who had played the lead in the Dhoni biopic.
Nagendra Misra, a cricketer employed with the railways in Ranchi, told IANS that when
Sushant visited the Jharkhand capital in 2016 for the shooting of ‘MS Dhoni: An Untold Story’, he imbibed the essence of the city.
Misra said Sushant was affable and easily mixed up with them all. The actor visited the lanes and bylanes of Ranchi, apart from the stadiums and cricket grounds associated with the former Indian skipper Dhoni even before he began to shoot for the eponymous movie.
He said that he had got the chance to bowl to Sushant during the shooting of the movie and that they all became close friends and spent a lot of time together.
The railways official said that Sushant kept visiting Ranchi and other places to know many facets of Dhoni’s personality, language and lifestyle and talked to the cricketer’s coach and friends to prepare for the role which brought him accolades from his admirers when the movie was released.
He said that it was due to the hard work and passion that Sushant put in the role that the movie audience accepted him in the role. Even the people of Ranchi saw Dhoni in the role so ably played by Sushant on screen.
Sandeepan Bhattacharya, who also got to know Sushant as part of the state’s Under-19 cricket team during that time, said that Sushant used to visit the cricket stadium in the city to learn the finer points of Dhoni’s batting and try to play accordingly.
“Sushant made a lot of efforts to master Dhoni’s helicopter shot,” he said.
Sushant also met Dhoni’s coach in Ranchi, KR Banerjee, many times and learnt the technique to hit the helicopter shot. Reminiscing about the late actor, Banerjee said that Dhoni’s friends had brought the Bollywood actor to his house to get the two to meet.
He recalled that during their first meeting, Sushant had touched his feet even as Banerjee did not know much about the Hindi movie world.
Banerjee also recalled that they met quite a few times before the movie shooting started, during which Sushant asked him more about various aspects of Dhoni’s life.
Banerjee said that it was not easy to play the role of a successful international cricketer on screen, but Sushant did a wonderful job.