Netflix series Sacred Games gave us some very interesting characters such as Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) and his bete noire Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). One actor among the supporting cast that made a huge impact was Jatin Sharma who played the hot-headed Bunty. The talented Jatin Sharma is now all set to play national cricketer Yashpal Sharma in the Kabir Khan directed 83 which recreates India’s triumph at the 1983 World Cup series.
Jatin says he identifies deeply with Yashpal Sharma. “He is the one national-level world-class cricketer who I think didn’t get his due. People know about him, of course. But director Kabir Khan and I are taking his story further to let the world know the difference he made in the World Cup series.”
Jatin rattles out facts and figures from Yashpal’s career. “During the very first match against the West Indies, he scored 89 and became Man of the match. After Yashpal Sharma’s performance in the West Indies, India felt that yes, they can do it. Then when India played against Australia he scored 40, punishing them hard and against England in the semi-final he scored 61. He was all over the place.”
Jatin, who can play cricket, is raising the level of his game by rigorously practising on the field. “For my preparation, I am spending and putting in an extra effort and time to match his batting style. Yashpal Sharma’s cricketing career’s best most memorable shots will be seen in the movie. I am also working on his psyche and his emotional bend.” Jatin is in constant contact with Yashpal Sharma. “I am talking to him and other cricketers of the team about his behaviour during matches and off the ground. During the 1983 World Cup, his wife was expecting and there were some complications which understandably always kept him worried, plus there was the World Cup so the anger may be there and attitude of decimating the opposition. Most notable were those piercing eyes of his with which he used to scan the field to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition and then attack.”
Speaking of his role in the second season of Sacred Games, Jatin says, “This time you all will see a very different side of my character Bunty. Season 2 tracks his journey from a gangster to film and TV producer. Bunty is still aggressive and violent but being physically challenged (he was shot down in Season 1) he is now more into mind games.”