indian cricket

‘It's the ultimate dream’: Jhulan Goswami eyes elusive global title at World T20 in 2018

Goswami returned home on Thursday after being ruled out of the ongoing T20I series against South Africa.

India fast bowler Jhulan Goswami said winning a World Cup title remains her ultimate dream even as she’s basking in the glory of becoming the first woman to take 200 wickets in One-Day Internationals.

Down with a heel injury, Goswami returned home on Thursday after being ruled out of the ongoing T20I series against South Africa. She will now head to National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru to recover within four to six weeks.

Eyeing World Cup glory

India have never won the coveted World Cup as they narrowly missed the ODI World Cup title going down to hosts England by nine runs at the Lord’s in July last year in what was their second defeat in a final.

But 2018 provides them another opportunity to take a shot at glory with the World Twenty20 hosted by the defending champions West Indies from November 9-24.

“The preparation has begun from the series in South Africa. With about a year left, it’s the perfect time for us to prepare in the right way,” said Jhulan. “If we win, it will be like an icing on the cake. Obviously I began playing keeping the World Cup in mind always. It does not come every year (...) It’s like winning an Olympic gold. The process take a long time, it does not happen overnight. It’s the ultimate dream. The first target will be to be top four,” she added.

Preparations have begun

Jhulan said the process has begun and the upcoming series against England, Australia and the Asia Cup will provide ample opportunities to sharpen their skills.

“We will be well-prepared. We have a lot of matches lined up. After the series in South Africa, there will be a tri-nation T20I series against England, Australia. There is also Asia Cup,” she said.

Australia women will tour India in March next year for a three-match ODI series as part of the ICC Women’s Championship, followed by the T20I tri-series.

“After the World Cup hype was so high, it was about holding on to the momentum. That was our focus. We wanted to keep playing like where we had left. Everyone was focused on giving their best, and play good as a team. We had a fine preparation for the South Africa series, beginning with warm-up matches there,” she said.

Jhulan further said they have included newcomers – Tanya Bhatia, Jemimah Rodrigues and Pooja Vastrakar – for the series in South Africa keeping in mind the World Twenty20.

A record to remember

Jhulan was proud to bag her 200th wicket recently.

“Never thought about the milestone when I started my career. In a long career, you are bound to achieve milestones. I never ran after a milestone. Nothing lasts forever but I would prefer a medium-pacer breaking my record,” said Jhulan. Incidentally in the same match she sustained the heel injury and could not train the next day as MRI revealed the nature of injury. “It will take some time to recover. I have to accept the fact. It will take four to six weeks. I had an injury in 2010 and before the World Twenty20 in 2016 as well. It’s nothing new and I hope to be fit soon,” she concluded.

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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.