IPL 11

Preview: Upbeat Kolkata Knight Riders face litmus test against Rajasthan Royals

KKR may have a chance to play again at Eden Gardens if they can finish at third or fourth on the IPL table.

A buoyant Kolkata Knight Riders will face an upbeat Rajasthan Royals in a battle for survival during their IPL clash on Tuesday. Their fate hanging in balance, a loss in the penultimate league round match may virtually end their campaign.

It’s a mad scramble for the two available play-off berths with five teams including KKR and RR, who are tied on 12 points, remaining in the hunt. To make the competition stiffer, both the teams have picked up late momentum in the business end of the tournament.

Down after back-to-back defeats, KKR bounced back with a bang, posting the fourth highest total of the IPL – 245/6 – to down Kings XI Punjab by 31 runs in their last match.

From being on the verge of elimination, RR too have returned to the reckoning with a hat-trick of wins, thanks to the imperious form shown by Jos Buttler who was adjudged man-of-the-match in all the three victories.

Buttler struck an unbeaten 94 to seal an easy seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians on Sunday. This was the English wicketkeeper-batsman’s fifth consecutive half-century – an IPL record jointly held with Virender Sehwag.

His scores in the last five innings read 67, 51, 82, 95*, 94* and Buttler along with all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has played in different positions in the batting order, will be the two major threats for KKR. Half of their battle will be won if the Dinesh Karthik-led side can dismiss the English duo cheaply. The skipper will look to go all out with their spin attack to exploit their weakness.

Rajasthan skipper Ajinkya Rahane is in the middle of a lean patch will augur well for the KKR team who will look to conclude their last home match of the round robin league on a high.

With the Eden Gardens slated to host Eliminator and second play-off, KKR may have a chance to play again at home if they can finish at third or fourth on the IPL table. Rahane has 280 runs from 12 innings with a woeful average of 28.00 and it’s high time that he returns among runs to give their batting a stability.

KKR batting, on the other hand, look a force to reckon with the likes of Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik and youngster Shubman Gill – all in fine form. Narine slammed 75 off 36 balls, while Karthik smashed a 23-ball 50 in their big total in Indore. With his exploits with both bat and ball, Narine has emerged as the most valuable player for KKR. Narine’s battle with Buttler will be one of the key contests of the game.

Nothing much separates the teams in terms of head to head (7-7) count and it seems another mouth-watering contest might be on the cards.

Head-to-head

Matches: 16
Kolkata Knight Riders won: 7
Rajasthan Royals won: 9

At the Eden Gardens:
Matches: 5
Kolkata Knight Riders won: 4
Rajasthan Royals won: 1

Trivia

  • Kolkata has the most productive spin bowling attack in IPL this season. Their spinners have together picked up a total of 38 wickets.
  • The average first innings total at the Eden Gardens is 182.
  • Sunil Narine needs 3 more wickets to get to 50 IPL wickets at the Eden Gardens. Only one bowler has taken 50 or more IPL wickets at a particular venue: Lasith Malina at the Wankhede Stadium.

“We haven’t looked at other teams. We have the destiny in our hands and if we play two good games then we go into the playoffs. We have to take it one game at a time. First up play well tomorrow, try and get away with a win and then worry about the other game. As far as rest of the teams are concerned, we are not really worried about what they are doing.”

— Jacques Kallis, KKR coach

Squads

Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (c), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, R. Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi, Tom Curran.

Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (C), Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Rahul Tripathi, D Arcy Short, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Sudhesan Midhun, Ben Laughlin, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Jatin Saxena, Dushmantha Chameera, Heinrich Klaasen, Ish Sodhi.

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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.