Sushant Singh Rajput was treated just as any other cricketer at the nets while he was preparing for MS Dhoni”s biopic and was even hit on the face and body many times during the training, recalls former India wicketkeeper Kiran More, who had trained the deceased actor for the role. Also Read - Sushant Singh Rajput’s One Month Death Anniversary: Shekhar Suman Urges People to ‘Light up Diya, Offer Silent Prayer’

Sushant, who committed suicide at his Mumbai home on Sunday afternoon, never complained and was determined to the hilt to play the titular role to perfection in the 2016 Bollywood flick, More told IANS. Also Read - Sushant Singh Rajput's Sister Shweta Singh Kirti Talks About Justice, Thanks Fans in a Facebook Post

“It’s very shocking. Too early to go. It shook me totally. I can’t come over it. He was just 34. He was so hard working, passionate and talented. I had worked with him for nine months, so I know how hard he had worked for that character,” said the 57-year old. Also Read - Graeme Smith Backs Sourav Ganguly For ICC President's Role, Hails Former India Captain Ability as Leader And Administrator

“For an actor to become a cricketer was the most difficult thing. Then to copy MS Dhoni…it was tough. The expectation is always very high. A lot of biopics had come but none was as successful as the one on Dhoni,” said More.

“We used to have normal practice sessions. He was treated as a normal cricketer at the nets. The fast bowlers would bowl to him. We started off with a tennis ball. But there was no compromise later as he became more confident.

“I had to take care of his face as he was an actor. He did not have any such cricketing background. He was hit so many times on the face and body, but he never complained or gave up. When you see the movie, there is young Dhoni and then the matured Dhoni…the body buildup. He had to go through that also. He lost weight then he had to put on weight again,” More narrated.

Sushant portrayed Dhoni effervescently and revealed the little known introvert facets of one of India”s most decorated sports persons in the blockbuster ”M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story”.

The reason, More said, was the hours the actor had put in during training and especially while perfecting wicketkeeping technique which is not easy even for a non-keeper cricketer.

“Keeping wickets for him was more challenging. If you ask (Sachin) Tendulkar or (Anil) Kumble to keep wickets…they won’t be able to do it. So for an actor, you can understand. He was so hardworking and today I am very much saddened and shocked,” More signed off.

(With agency inputs)