Mahesh Manjrekar makes digital debut with Netflix's Selection Day. Details inside!

Updated: Dec 22, 2018, 14:23 IST | Shaheen Parkar | Mumbai

Mahesh Manjrekar talks about playing coach of a cricket team in Netflix's Selection Day

Mahesh Manjrekar
Mahesh Manjrekar

Mahesh Manjrekar makes his digital debut in the upcoming Netflix show, Selection Day, based on Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga's 2016 novel by the same name. Produced by Anil Kapoor, the show revolves around two brothers who are raised by their father to be star cricket players. Manjrekar plays a cricket coach in the drama that has Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajesh Tailang, Yash Dholye and Mohammad Samad as co-stars.

The filmmaker-actor says, "For a change, I am happy to be on the set as an actor only. I am not a method actor. I do what the director tells me. I don't think too much about every move I have to make on the set."

Referring to a director as the conductor of an orchestra where 10 violinists do as they please, he adds, "In such a scenario, they will create noise, not music. Similarly, the director has to contend with different types of actors, and try to make a good film."

Selection Day, he says, took him back to his roots. "I was a good cricketer. I was told that I could make it to the Mumbai team; playing in the Ranji trophy is a big thing. But I left the game in a fit of anger. I was a rebel and my coach Ramakant Achrekar would only make me bowl, that too with an old ball. He never allowed me to bat. No one could question him. It was the guru-shishya parampara. Irritated, I left the game forever. But then, I was not like his legendary student Sachin Tendulkar, [who was] possessed by the game."

Manjrekar has not modelled his character on any real-life coach. "The 11 players in the team are the best. What can I teach them at that level? I only have to instil confidence and channelise their emotions." He says he would often play cricket on the set, much to the chagrin of the director. "I still love playing cricket," he says, simply.

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