MELBOURNE: Australia, having topped the T20I series against Sri Lanka, will be looking for a clean sweep when they take on the visitors in the fifth and final game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here later on Sunday.
The Australians, under manager Aaron Finch, have shown just how difficult it is to beat them in the home series, having won all four games so far – three of them with disconcerting ease , while a match entered the Super Over.
Australia’s bowlers, particularly Josh Hazlewood – who returned to the side after missing four Ashes Tests with side strain – were exceptional. In the first three games, the big, fast bowler struck early to shake up the Sri Lankan batting lineup, and whenever necessary it was Adam Zampa who did the rest in the middle.
After winning the first three T20Is and securing the series, Australia tried new players in the fourth T20I. The strategy worked as young pacer Jhye Richardson impressed with bowling numbers of 2/20 in the contest.
Despite the series being entirely in favor of Australia, the hosts struggled in various departments. Finch’s form has been a concern. He struggled with his ball timing, forcing him to change positions in the batting order. But that strategy didn’t work either. With Ashton Agar opening innings with Ben McDermott and Finch at No. 3, other hitters like Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis were pushed back in order.
The largest order hasn’t been delivered in the last two T20Is, and it was the middle order that delivered on time and did the job for Australia.
Visitors, meanwhile, will be disappointed with their performance here. Although they were hit by COVID-19 several times during the current series, they showed immense character, but only the bowlers were up to the task. Sri Lanka’s overreliance on Pathum Nissanka has cost them victories. The early games were not consistent, but each time Sri Lanka got off to a good start, they struggled to maintain momentum. In the middle overs, Sri Lanka lost wickets and the misery continued in the death overs, due to their inability to set up a solid total or chase it.
Going into the T20I final, Sri Lanka will have to overcome their batting woes in order to avoid a clean sweep.
In the fourth ODI at the same venue, Australia beat Sri Lanka by six wickets for a 4-0 lead. The visitors could only manage 139 runs at the end of 20 overs. The Sri Lankan first order contributed, but due to a batting slump they missed the chance to make a big total.
Chasing the aggregate, Australia lost the first wickets but Josh Inglis and Glenn Maxwell played with the bat. Maxwell scored an unbeaten 48 from 39 deliveries and Inglis’ fiery innings of 40 from 20 balls helped Australia chase the target with 11 balls to spare.
Finch said before the fifth T20I that he was impressed with Ashton Agar’s left arm rotation.
“Our bowlers got mixed up a bit. Agar is playing wonderfully. His variations in pace have been wonderful. He contributes with the bat and is a great defender. We need a solid 6 and 7 if we are to win the World Championship. We saw (Matthew) Wade did it for us against Pakistan in the WC and then against SA in the WC as well. Josh (Inglis) is hard to play because he can hit you anywhere on the field. Maxi (Maxwell) played really well. He was able to sit up and support Inglis. He played a mature role to get us over the line,” Finch said.
Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka lamented his batting runs lacking.
“A few positives but not enough runs on the board. The spinners played well. We’re a bit lacking in the batting department. It’s always a good feeling in Melbourne. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a win for our supporters here,” Shanaka said.
It was an eternal debate in years past. People had little exposure to fashion. Traditional families, especially women, could only imagine indulging themselves when the most fashionable attire for men was a suit and tie. Wearing a t-shirt on vacation was the most fashionable thing a man could have. Jeans weren’t in the running yet. And, yes, one accessory that helped change a man’s or woman’s look was the looks, commonly referred to as goggles.
Guys like to follow their favorite star and the only way to show it was to copy her hairstyle. The Raj Kapoor hairstyle had to come naturally, so few could pull it off. The hairstyles of Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar were the most popular.
In fact, female stars are streaming more fashion than their male counterparts. For example, the Chinese Sadhna haircut was all the rage among young girls. And, pretty much every actress wore a bouffant hairstyle and women fans loved to follow it, especially on occasions such as weddings. One can easily find pictures where top female stars such as Waheeda Rehman, Nanda, Sadhna and Asha Parekh sport a bouffant in a frame.
The stars weren’t very adventurous when it came to fashion ideas because, for the most part, Hollywood stars and movies inspired their dress.
There came a time when tailors turned into costume designers. Each star had their own tailor, now called a costumer. In the same way, each star had his own hairdresser. In most cases, the hairstylist and costume designer remained exclusive to a particular star because the stars’ egos prevented another star from going to the same person!
Even if these creators remained exclusive to one star, if their star was popular, his fans provided him with all the custom he needed. They made their fortunes with their star clients acting as their role models. It was because someone or the other wanted a kurta similar to the one Rajesh Khanna wore in several of his films, or an open-necked shirt that Amitabh Bachchan wore in “Deewaar” or “Trishul”.
It was the time when a top-selling star would commit to no less than 12 to 20 films and shoot three to four movies a day, allocating hourly filming time to his producers and jumping from studio to studio. to the other. The costume designers had to be handled with the same tenderness as the stars, because they could upset four to five hours of a filming “appointment” granted by the actor! In such an event, for a superstar, fashion and clothes did not matter.
There’s the example of Dharmendra, shooting three songs for three movies on the same day, moving from place to place. He was still the much sought-after romantic hero (the action tag was yet to come). Since there was no time to change, he was seen wearing the same yellow and brown striped shirt in three songs shot for three different movies – “Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke”, “Jeevan Mrityu” and “Mere Hamdam Mere Dost”. !
Now, as the stars had started wearing specially designed dresses, they also inspired many of their followers, especially young people and students. In my time, if I saw a star most followed for his fashion statements, it was Rajesh Khanna. Everything he wore was fashionable. Her costumer suggested she wear a kurta instead of tucking in a shirt because of her rather large hips. And this became known as “guru kurta” and became a fashion statement of the day.
Rajesh Khanna was a star of the masses and his mannerisms were easy to adopt. Dev Anand too. While much of what he wore and did was tracked, the specially designed plaid hat he wore in “Jewel Thief” probably outsold the movie tickets!
The thing is, Rajesh Khanna and Dev Anand’s fashion was more affordable for their fans while Bachchan’s was a bit more stylish so fans could only admire her.
Amitabh Bachchan’s dress sense was considered the most elegant. His style statements, however, were expensive and also required a certain amount of personality to pull off. Not everyone could imitate him. But his costume designer benefited the most, as the wealthy youth of South Mumbai flocked to his designer, Kachins.
More than the designer of Rajesh Khanna or that of Amitabh Bachchan, those who were most in demand by producers were those who made clothes for villains and character artists. This is because a character actor does multiple movies at once, plays a different character in each movie, and needs more change of clothes than a hero.
Madhav Men’s Mode was one such creator who thrived on offering this service to most villains and character actors. There were many prominent male costume designers such as Kachins, Bada Saab, Lifestyles, Stylo, etc.
Being a designer for female stars was harder and harder. There are a number of Indian dresses for women, and depending on the movies, many situations to expect, so a designer had to work hard. Some designs made an actress look divine, like a character from a mythological tale, while others showed her as a fashionable modern girl. Unlike today, costumes had to match the theme of the film and the character the star was portraying.
There were many designers for female stars, such as Bhanu Athaiya, Anna Singh, Neeta Lulla, Dolly Ahaluvalia, Manish Malhotra, etc. Spouses or parents of some actors also got into costume design.
Where all designers have failed, if their services have been called upon, is to design costumes for the poor or desperately poor characters on screen. The best they could find was a worn garment with patches here and there. It looked so forced.
What is the fashion scene now? There doesn’t seem to be any. Male actors now sport six-pack abs, which are designed in a gym with lots of protein supplements. Those muscles are complemented by tight shirts, which amplify the hard work, and that’s the costumer’s job.
When it comes to female stars, anything that requires little fabric and manages to reveal the most is fashion.
It seems that there is no longer a relationship between fashion and cinema. If female stars showcase any fashion, it’s on the ramp.