India in South Africa

Shikhar Dhawan blames wet outfield, bad luck for below-par show from Chahal, Yadav

The opener insisted India were very much in the hunt till Miller got a double reprieve in one over and cashed on it

India’s two wrist spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, had a rare off day on Saturday and South Africa made the most of it by racing through to a five-wicket win in the rain-affected game to keep the One Day International series alive.

The spin duo had been the wreckers-in-chief for India in the earlier three ODIs, which India had won rather convincingly, but looked completely out of sorts once David Miller and wicketkeeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen took the attack to them.

However, India’s opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan insisted that wet outfield and a bit of bad luck was responsible for a below par performance and exuded confidence that the duo would bounce back from this difficult outing.

“They are young guys and they have done very well for us and anyone can have a bad day. These two spinners have won three games for us. As I said, spinners usually don’t bowl a no-ball but sometimes luck favours the opposition too. Its not for us always. It favoured Miller and he grabbed it with both hands and then he hit a lot of boundaries and then the momentum changed.

“Also, rain had an impact to since our spinners couldn’t turn the ball as they couldn’t grip the ball the way they were doing in the earlier matches,” said Dhawan.

Miller was dropped by Shreyas Iyer and was then bowled off a no-ball in the same Chahal over when South Africa were still not out of the woods. The left-handed batsman then went on to score 39 runs in just 28 balls to set the foundation for Klaasen and Andie Phelukwayo to knock off the remaining 28 runs. Chahal ended up giving away 68 runs in just 5.3 overs while Yadav conceded 51 runs in his six.

“Its not a thing that happens every time, like our spinners don’t bowl no balls. If they got hit they will learn a lot. It is important to go through failures,” said Dhawan, who celebrated his 100th ODI appearance with a century.

“I enjoyed it. It cant get any better on my 100th match. I scored a century in my 100th match and I am very happy about it. They came with a plan but I started off well. Then Virat also was going well so I supported him and I am happy that I scored a century today,” said Dhawan.

The 32-year-old paced his innings perfectly and it looked like India would go past the 300 run mark rather easily before a rain break hurt their momentum. The visitors could only score 89 runs after the break and lost five wickets in the bargain.

“We were playing in a flow till rain game. That was affected by the half an hour break and the runs did not come at the same pace. But the total was still competitive. But the rain made the outfield wet and that affected us (in the field),” said Dhawan, who brushed asides concerns over the lack of runs from the middle order saying they have contributed more often than not when the top order has failed to score runs.

Explaining the decision to bat first despite the forecast for rain, Dhawan said the ball normally moves at the Wanderers in the evening session and they felt that they should play to their strengths of setting up a strong total.

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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.