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Sushant Rajput earns More praise for performance in Dhoni biopic

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Kiran More, who represented India in 49 Test matches, was recently involved in the making of a biopic on Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The former wicketkeeper prepared lead actor Sushant Singh Rajput for the role, teaching him the nitty-gritties of the game and how to copy the style of the Indian limited overs captain.

The film, releasing on September 30, is believed to narrate the rags to riches story of Dhoni's cricketing career and has been shot extensively in his hometown of Ranchi.

"It was a challenge for me to coach Sushant. Training him to do wicketkeeping and batting was really challenging. To do those things and act at the same time was really difficult. Initialy we trained with tennis balls. To train and shoot with the season ball was very difficult, but Sushant came out with flying colours," More said.

"It was really hard and required a lot of effort. Whatever result we got was through fantastic team work. Of course, it was a big challenge for me. Being a wicketkeeper is a really difficult task. Batting is still manageable, but wicketkeeping is a difficult job. To copy Dhoni's style is realy tough because he has his own style of wicketkeeping and bating," he added.

"Sushant mastered Dhoni's 'helicopter shot' so well, I can challenge any other actor in Bollywood to do it as well as him."

Praising Dhoni's qualities as a captain, More asserted that the film will serve as an inspiration for the youth.

"I think it is a fantastic story. For me, Dhoni is a case study. The guy had come from a small town in Jharkhand. He is the first Indian team captain to come from a very small place. Other captains are mostly from Mumbai, Bangalore or Delhi. Dhoni is the only player to come into the Indian team from Jharkahand and not only that, become the captain for 10 years.

"It is a great story and his background is unbelievable. There was very little scope or even facilities in Jharkahand when Dhoni was developing as a player. Now there is a new stadium there. To travel so much to train and play, and fulfill his duties as a Railways employee at the same time must have really tough. He used to play football initially and later took up cricket. It is an incredible story," More stated.

"His simplicity and honesty is commendable. He is extremely disciplined and you do not see him at page three events."

Experienced opener Gautam Gambhir had posted a message on his Twitter handle on Sunday, calling for biopics on those who have contributed towards the nation rather than cricketers. The tweet was widely interpreted as being a dig at Dhoni.

More refused to get involved in the controversy, although he insisted that biopics on sportspersons will help inspire generations.

"I returned from London only last night so I have no idea on the latest incident. I would like to see biopics on martyred soldiers as well as sportspeople. On Sehwag for example. He also comes from a small place and became one of India's greatest batsmen. Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza, Dipa Karmakar or even Abhinav Bindra," he said.

"I would love to see biopics on these people. It will inspire the young people of the country and will highlight the hard work these sportspeople have put in. Their lives will make a great story,"