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Ranveer Singh and Kapil Dev Image Credit: Instagram.com/ranveersingh

Ranveer Singh, who is getting love and appreciation from cricket and cinema fans alike for portraying Kapil Dev in ‘83’, has revealed it took him six months to perfect that famous backward-running catch, which was taken by the legendary cricketer to dismiss Sir Viv Richards off a Madan Lal delivery on June 25, 1983.

‘83’ has received a bumper opening at the box office in India and the Bollywood actor is in awe after getting such a positive response from fans.

“I am overwhelmed with the kind of messages I am getting right now. Everybody is liking the movie — [former Indian cricketer] Sunil Gavaskar sir, [former Indian cricketer] Madan Lal sir, [former Indian skipper who led the 1983 squad[ Kapil sir, my guru Balwinder Singh Sandhu sir, PR Man Singh sir all have messaged and praised my work. What else do you want when such great personalities appreciate your work,” an emotional Singh said.

For the film, the versatile actor has stepped into the shoes of the legendary Indian captain and one of the greatest all-rounders, Kapil Dev.

The actor recalled during the making of the film, director Kabir Khan proposed the idea of inviting Dev and asking him to spend some time with the actor.

“I spent some time with Kapil sir in his house and he has such an impressive aura that people will fall in love with him. His smile, his laugh, his walk, his talk, his dance ... yeah, he has such cute dance moves. I used to see what he was doing and what’s going on in his mind. What he might be thinking at that time in 1983. Watching him so closely helped a lot,” Singh said.

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Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone at the premiere of '83' Image Credit: AFP

Asked what was the toughest part to learn, Dev’s bowling style, his attitude or batting? The actor replied: “I used to play cricket in my school days and I was a very aggressive and impressive batter, also a good fielder. So batting wasn’t an issue. About acting, we are professionals, so that’s our job to get into the character.

“Bowling was the toughest thing to learn. It took me several months — his wrist position, his iconic jump, rubbing the ball on the chest before delivering it.”

Singh also shared his struggles to match Dev’s famous backward-running catch to dismiss Sir Viv Richards, which clinched India’s win in the nail-biter of a final at Lord’s.

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Ranveer Singh in '83' Image Credit: Reliance Entertainment

“It took me six months to get it perfectly done. The catch was tough running backward. So, Sandhu sir used to throw the ball and I had to run and take it,” he said.

He added: “I practised it several times and Sandhu sir then used to give me six overs to bat as a consolation prize, which I loved the most. I was given a target and I have to chase it down. It was fun,” he added.

Dev’s innings of 175 against Zimbabwe didn’t get recorded because the BBC staff were on strike that day. How tough was it to learn about the minutiae of the great innings?

“It was no doubt difficult because there was no video recording of it. And I at the same time feel bad for Kapil sir. It was one of the best innings in cricket history. And now people, only after watching the movie, are appreciating the scene and figuring out how it was done at that time,” Singh stated.

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Ranveer Singh in '83' Image Credit: Reliance Entertainment

‘83’, out in UAE cinemas, has also been appreciated by Indian batsman Virat Kohli and his actress-wife Anushka Shamra.

“Couldn’t have relived the most iconic moment of Indian cricket history in a better manner. A fantastically made movie which immerses you in the events and the emotion of the world cup in 1983. Splendid performances as well,” posted Kohli on Twitter, adding: “@RanveerOfficial was a different level altogether. Great job everyone! @therealkapildev @kabirkhankk.”

Sharma, who has starred opposite Singh in several films and was rumoured to have dated him years ago, also weighed in on the lead star. “A magical moment in India’s sporting history brought to life so beautifully by the entire team of #83TheFilm. @kabirkhankk thank you for letting the newer generations relive this through your film and

@RanveerOfficial, what can I say? You are just superlative in the film. Not a single false note from you in any frame, just sheer brilliance on your part. Loved all performances equally! Well played team 83.”

The film also stars Singh’s wife Deepika Padukone, who has also co-produced the project, along with Reliance Entertainment.

The team of ‘83’ were also in Dubai earlier this month to promoe the movie and watch its trailer unveiled on the facade of Burj Khalifa that moved Padukone to tears. - With inputs from Bindu Rai, Entertainment Editor