International Cricket

Dhawan walks off midway through practice session, raises injury concern ahead of Afghanistan Test

In case Dhawan is unable to play, KL Rahul is set to open the batting along side Murali Vijay and Karun Nair is likely to find a place in middle-order.

Senior opener Shikhar Dhawan’s curtailed practice session today raised serious doubts about his participation in the historic one-off Test against Afghanistan, starting in Bengaluru on Thursday.

Even though it still is not confirmed what actually happened to Dhawan, his unavailability on Thursday could possible open the door for Karun Nair in the middle-order.

In case Dhawan is unable to play, KL Rahul is set to open the batting along side Murali Vijay and Nair is likely to find a place in middle-order.

Unlike Vijay, who was rested for the optional practice session, Dhawan did turn up for training but was conspicuous by absence at the net session.

Dhawan stated off by doing some running between the wickets drill but looked gingerly and clearly in some discomfort. He was then seen talking to Indian team fitness trainer Shankar Basu and physio Patrick Farhat and after that he didn’t take part in the customary net session where Rahul spent extended time.

All the bowlers (two frontline pacers Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav along with spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja) save Kuldeep Yadav and Navdeep Saini were rested. Ditto for all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

The selection committee led by MSK Prasad has followed a pattern of like for like replacement. By that logic, Karun Nair being a middle-order batsman is expected to play at No 4 in regular captain Virat Kohli’s place.

Karun in?

Karun, who is going to lead India A in the four-day games in England, is being looked upon as Rohit Sharma’s possible replacement. Rohit, after his latest failure in South Africa, perhaps won’t find it easy to come back in longest format.

However, with Rahul in imperious form of late (at least in the IPL) and expected to play a key role in England, there is every chance of giving him the game time that he deserves.

Also checking out Rahul at No 3 and by pushing Pujara at No 4 will give team management a chance to create a back-up for the Saurashtra right-hander in case he flops in England.

There is a possibility of both (Karun and Rahul) playing but whether the team needs an extra batsman against a Test debutant nation is the bigger question.

The other big question is whether they will go with an extra spinner in chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who might play Tests in England.

Ashwin (311) and Jadeja (165), with a collective 476 wickets between them, are expected to play but going by the nature of the Chinnaswamy track, there will be turn on offer, which might prompt them to keep an additional spinner in the side.

“The track definitely looked more brownish than yesterday (on the drier side) and you never know how it will look tomorrow. One thing is for sure that there will be turn on offer,” Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons said.

In that case, Hardik Pandya is likely to share the new ball with Ishant Sharma with Umesh Yadav sitting out.

However, Umesh has bowled some fantastic spells at the Chinnaswamy during the IPL and also has been one of India’s better pacers in home conditions.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

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:

Play

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