India in England 2018

Not just India, England would’ve bowled out any team at rain-hit Lord’s, says James Anderson

Anderson took his 27th Test five-wicket haul, picking 5/20, as India were bowled out for 107 runs with rain intervening thrice during this innings.

England pacer James Anderson has said the conditions on day two of the second Test against India at Lord’s were perfect for bowling and his side would have bowled out any batting line-up in the world under similar situations.

Anderson took his 27th Test five-wicket haul, picking 5/20, as India were bowled out for 107 runs with rain intervening thrice during this innings.

He said England has made good use of the conditions and India just drew the short straw based on very harsh conditions.

“I think that if we bowled like that today, with those conditions, we’d bowl most teams in the world out because I think we were that good. We hardly bowled any bad balls, didn’t give them much to hit and when you build pressure like that all day, no matter who you are around the world, it is difficult. We exploited those conditions as well as anyone in the world. I don’t think it’s just the Indian batsmen that would have struggled,” said Anderson.

“Honestly, I would have been so disappointed if I had messed up today because they were the ideal conditions to bowl in, I find it so much fun when like that. You don’t often get conditions like that in England anymore, when the ball does that much through the air and off the pitch. The biggest thing is not trying to do too much, too many different things, just keep focus, try and bowl good balls and keep hoping they nick them eventually,” he said after the second day’s plat at the Lord’s.

Anderson said that the conditions did favour England heavily, especially in helping them decide on playing an extra pacer in Chris Woakes while also opting to bowl after winning the toss.

“The rain yesterday certainly made the decision for us at the toss and with a day missing as well, you need to bowl first. We didn’t think it would do that much, it looked a good pitch, dry with a bit of green grass on top but not too much. Thought it might do a bit early on, but the moisture around all day helped it do a little bit more, and through the air as well. It was not particularly warm, but warm enough and that moisture that is in the ground just helps it move around. The four of us bowled really well,” he said.

On Pujara’s run out

India never really got out of the woods with Anderson getting the openers in the space of 15 balls before the first rain shower of the day. Then, there was a horrendous mix-up between Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, before India lost their last seven wickets for 92 runs when play resumed late in the day.

“I did not want to go off [for the rain break] as I felt in really good rhythm. We were on top with two early wickets and there were dark black clouds coming from that direction all day. Then we did get a deluge. It’s frustrating when you are on top, you want to stay out there and keep that pressure on the opposition. You feel like it is a chance for them to regroup and come out to play better. But we coped with that long break really well, and when we came back out, we stuck to our task brilliantly.

“It (the mix up) can happen when we were building pressure, both me and Stuart [Broad] bowling well from both ends, does create pressure. It was just a mix up, a yes and then a no, and then of course a massive downpour, which would not have made Pujara feel any better,” said Anderson.

On Kohli

He said that he enjoyed his latest battle with Kohli, but disagreed that India were too dependent on him.

“I was thinking why can’t he [Kohli] edge them like everyone else. I have really enjoyed the contest between him and myself. He is number one in the world for a reason. For me I love playing against the best players in the world, testing yourself and seeing whether you can get the better of them. It is a really thrilling thing to be a part of, and unfortunately I have not got the better of him yet, but I will continue to try my hardest throughout the rest of the series.

“I don’t think you can think like that [dependency] because we’ve played against all of them before. There are some real quality players in there. I think Kohli is important because he is captain, a leader and he is their best player – number one in the world. But 90 per cent of their top seven have scored runs against us in the past so we can’t look just as Kohli as a big wicket,” Anderson said.

On age

At 36-years-old, the pacer has been bowling as good as ever in this series. The question of age does not bother him still, and he hoped that wickets would keep coming for him in the near future.

“All I think about is getting my body in as good a condition as it can be to cope with bowling out in the middle. I was delighted with how many overs I bowled at Edgbaston. For my body to get through that at this age I’m really happy with. I think it means I’m doing the right stuff off the field.

“But I don’t think about numbers or my age, I feel like, I won’t say 28, but 32. I don’t feel old. I feel like I can still throw myself around in the field as well as anyone else so as long as I feel like that I’m just going to keep playing as long as possible. Hopefully the wickets will keep coming as well and I can help this team keep winning,” Anderson signed off.

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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.