‘Story of how they bounced back is great’
Ready with his first docu-series Bandon Mein Tha Dum, Neeraj on retelling India’s win of Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Aus
Director Neeraj Pandey took a stab at long-format storytelling with Special Ops (2020) and Special Ops 1.5: The Himmat Story (2021). Now, the filmmaker is exploring a docu-series with Bandon Mein Tha Dum. The four-part offering will chronicle the Indian cricket team’s 2-1 win against Australia that helped them retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21. The pride of retelling India’s brilliant fightback led Pandey to helm the project. “We don’t do enough non-live cricket in India. Earlier, we didn’t know whom to make such stories for. Now, the format is undergoing a shift. This story was crucial because the team travelled to Australia amid a raging pandemic. The first test saw an abysmal performance, but the story of how they bounced back is great,” he shares.
In the first test in Adelaide, Virat Kohli-led India recorded only 36 runs in the second innings. It granted Australia an easy win, before captain Ajinkya Rahane led India to a glorious win in the second test. While the third test was a draw, the deciding fourth test saw Australia losing at The Gabba — their first test match loss at the ground since 1988. Pandey says he changed his style to service the story. “The format requires a certain kind of vocabulary. Getting the right cast was important. We needed the Australian and Indian players, people from the press, and a narrative peppered with information and anecdotes.” The offering features Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, their coaches and journalists who covered the series.
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