India in South Africa

‘South Africa played with a lot of character and deserved to win’: Kohli after losing fourth ODI

South Africa beat India by five wickets to win the crucial game in the six-match series.

India captain Virat Kohli has rued his team’s misfortune but admitted that South Africa were the deserving winners as they showed a lot of character during their five-wicket win in the fourth ODI on Saturday. With their tail up in the series following a 3-0 lead, India went into the game as favourites but twin weather breaks coupled with a few missed chances brought a halt to their rampaging ODI run as South Africa kept the series alive.

South Africa show grit

“In hindsight you have to give credit to South Africa. I think they played with a lot of character in the end, they pulled through, they deserved to win,” said Kohli. “They are a quality side, we expected them to play quality cricket and they played well. We know we’ll have to be at the top of our game to get another win under our belt and we’ll work extremely hard for that,” he added.

Opting to bat, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli were going great guns before lightning first stopped play when the visitors were placed at 200/2. Although no overs were cut, India lost the momentum and only finished at 289/7.

Another rain break later, during South Africa’s innings, forced the match to be reduced to 28 overs with the hosts set a revised target of 202. Kohli also noted how conditions had worked against his team as India scored just 89 in 16.3 overs after the first break of play.

Conditions affected the game

“After the break when Shikhar and Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) came off the wicket played a bit differently, it wasn’t as good to bat after the break,” he said. “After the lightning break the guys felt with the weather getting cooler, the wicket got faster in the evening, and that continued through the innings, so I don’t think the guys quite settled in in the later half.”

Kohli felt the curtailment of the match helped South Africa. “The game getting shorter probably worked in their favour, they had to hit regardless of what the situation was. If it was a full game you never know,” he said. “It was more like a T20 game where you have to go after the bowlers and it can get difficult when people get into a groove and when a side has momentum it can be very difficult to stop them.”

Credit where due 

The India skipper also gave credit to South Africa for the way they went about their run chase.

“Especially Miller and their wicket keeper batted very well, when we got AB I thought we were in the game, but those two guys took the game away from us,” he said. “(After the second break in play) the ball was getting a little wet, but I won’t say it was too wet. The wicket was good to bat on. Our spinners were getting a little bit of turn but South Africa took their chances and it came off. They improvised really well and it came off for them, they showed real character, they showed guts, they tried a few things and they deserved to win,” Kohli added.

The Indians also had themselves to blame as David Miller was given two lives – a dropped catch in the deep and then was bowled off a no ball off Yuzvendra Chahal when he was on 6 and 7 respectively. He went on to make 39 off 28 balls.

“We did not grab our chances. You have to take your chances in this game, no balls are a fine line as well. We did not deserve to win, that’s the way the game goes,” Kohli said.

“No balls are always something that hurts you as a team but you can’t be too hard on the boys. They try their best out there in the middle and mistakes do happen,” he added.

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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.