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Lazy Elegance And The Rise Of Rohit Sharma

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I still remember the day Rohit Sharma made his Twenty20 International debut for India against a high-flying South African side in the ICC World Twenty20 2007. And that too, in their own backyard. It was a do-or-die game for the men in blue. They had to beat the formidable South African team during a high-voltage Super 8 clash in order to make their way to the semis. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Indian side was reduced to 61/4, courtesy of some disciplined bowling by Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini.

The likes of Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa were already back in the dugout after being dismissed cheaply, but just then, out of the ruins, rose a new hero. The 20-year-old lad from Mumbai, who had made his way into the playing 11 courtesy of an injury to Yuvraj Singh, grabbed the opportunity with both hands. His 85 run partnership with the Indian skipper MS Dhoni was instrumental in stirring the Indian ship out of precarious waters. The partnership between Sharma and Dhoni took India to 153/5 on a grassy batting strip at Kingsmead. Rohit finished with an unbeaten half-century.

Rohit’s mature innings under pressure made it very clear that this lad from Mumbai possessed enormous batting talent. He had those malleable wrists required to flick the ball over square leg. He possessed a lazy sort of elegance, for a player of his talent, the first few years of Rohit’s ODI career were studded with numerous hits and misses. Inconsistency had overpowered the right hander’s talent. A delightful knock was followed by a streak of failures. His inconsistency saw him being dropped from the national side just before the commencement of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Rohit’s career began taking giant strides when he was called to open the innings along with Shikhar Dhawan during the 2013 edition of the ICC Champions Trophy held in England. The Mumbaikar showcased a great sense of maturity and temperament and silenced his critics every time he went out to open the innings. His strong show with the bat ensured the team got off to a decent start. His splendid form played an instrumental role in his side’s successful campaign helping his side to lift the title. But the best phase of his career was yet to unfold.

Rohit Sharma’s career witnessed a purple patch when the Aussies toured India in 2013. Rohit scored back-to-back centuries in the series and took the likes of formidable bowlers like Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner to the cleaners. The right-hander piled up an unbeaten 141 in the 2nd ODI played in Jaipur in a winning cause chasing nearly 360 runs. His innings in Bengaluru in the last match of the series saw him scoring a double century. He finished the series with an aggregate of 491 runs from five games, including two centuries and a half-century.

There are two obvious reasons behind Rohit Sharma’s consistent run over the past couple of years. Firstly, his choice of strokes has become exemplary and secondly, he is spending a good amount of time at the crease in order to get his eye in. He can pull off the big strokes with effortless ease once he settles down.

Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Rohit is arguably one of the most consistent opening batters the country has ever seen. In the last four and a half years, he has amassed 4055 runs in 81 innings at an impressive average of over 56, including 12 hundreds and 22 fifties. He recently became the latest batsman to enter the 6,000 run club in ODIs during the bilateral series against the Aussies. His good form at the top also saw him being appointed as Virat Kohli’s deputy in the ODI format prior to the commencement of the series.

In the past, Rohit had shown this propensity of getting caught in the slip cordon early on in his innings. He used to consume a lot of deliveries early on and then he would try to make up for it, but fortunately, now he has this ability to build his innings. Rohit’s recent form in the limited overs format has been nothing short of extraordinary. With more than 900 runs under his belt, 2017 has undoubtedly been Rohit Sharma’s year thus far.

If there is one thing which Rohit needs to tighten-up, it is his game outside the off stump early on in his innings, and especially when the ball is moving around a bit early on like it did in the Asia Cup. One of the many dangers of a sublime form is that it produces so much confidence that you feel like going after everything. Rohit has nicked off on more than one occasion early on in Bangladesh, but given the strides he has taken as a learning cricketer, it is quite certain that he’ll come to terms with the fact, that no matter how many he has scored in the previous innings, each innings happens to be a fresh start.

A version of this post was previously published on the author’s blog.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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