sports world

The sports wrap: 'I have game plan ready for R Ashwin,' says David Warner, and other top stories

BCCI withdraw Yusuf Pathan's NOC to play in Hong Kong T20 league; Sunil Chhetri became India’s all-time highest goal-scorer in league football.

The big story: ‘It’s going to be a great battle for both of us’

With wickets once again expected to offer turn, one of Australia’s major focal points will be the India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. The visitors will look towards in-form batsman David Warner to lead the way, and the 30-year-old looks to be on top of things, claiming to have a “game plan ready” to counter the tweaker’s threat, PTI reported.

“I have to respect a player like Ashwin. He thinks like a batsman and I have to be disciplined against him,” Warner was quoted as saying. “I have a game plan for him - I have to bat against his strength. He is going to be ready for me and we both have to adopt to the situation. It’s going to be a great battle for the both of us. I have to bide my time,” he added.

Asked to comment on India skipper Virat Kohli’s explosive form, Warner was effusive in his praise for the young captain.

“Virat Kohli is in the form of the decade. He is a fantastic player and a great sport. He is exceptional in all formats and he is taking the entire country on a journey,” Warner said.

“He wants the country to ride with him. Virat is frank and he calls spade a spade. Joe Root, Steve Smith, Faf du Plessis and Kohli thrive on responsibility. These young players are unstoppable. Virat is a great example of scoring big tons,” Warner added.

Other top stories

Cricket

  • Even as Australia’s skipper Steve Smith gave his team the license to sledge Virat Kohli & Co, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has said he would rather keep his mouth shut while dealing with the India skipper in the upcoming four-match Test series beginning February 23 at Pune. “I’m probably not going to say a thing to him,” news.com.au quoted Maxwell as saying in Mumbai. He (Kohli) is up and down with sledging. I suppose if you strike a chord with him or something gets him agitated to play a big shot, blokes are more likely to go for it.” 
  • Defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad will host runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening fixture of the 10th edition of Indian Premier League on April 5. The final will also be held at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on May 21.
  • India Under-19 rode on back of a fine century by 18-year-old Daryl Sunder Ferrario as they declared at 431/8 on day three of their four-day game against England Under-19 at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Nagpur on Wednesday.
  • India women romped to their fifth straight win in the Women’s World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday, beating South Africa by 49 runs in a low-scoring contest at the P Sara Oval.
  • Just days after granting all-rounder Yusuf Pathan a No Objection Certificate to play a Twenty20 Tournament in Hong Kong, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has done a U-turn, Indian Express reported.
  • The Pakistan Super League is likely to give franchises an option to draft new players if international players choose to opt out of the March 5 final in Lahore due to security reasons, Hindustan Times reported. “On February 22 we will do a new draft. We will put a formula in front of all the franchises and foreign players to let us know who will play the final in Lahore and who will not come,” PSL chairman Najam Sethi said on a Pakistan TV channel.
  • South African players and English players are likely to skip the IPL 2017 during the first week of May owing to the bilateral series between the two sides and the Champions Trophy preparations, which starts from June 1 in England.

Football

  • Sunil Chhetri surpassed Bhaichung Bhutia tally of 89 goals to become India’s all-time highest goal-scorer in league football as Bengaluru FC drew 1-1 with Aizawl FC in the I-League on Wednesday. Meanwhile, East Bengal were held to a 1-1 draw by Shillong Lajong.
  • Barcelona were dismantled 4-0 by Paris Saint-Germain in the first-leg of the round-of-16 clash of the Champions League at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday. Angel di Maria scored a brace while Edison Cavani and Julian Draxler scored one goal apiece in the dominating show that saw Barcelona almost knocked out of the competition.
  • Kostas Mitroglou’s strike gave Benfica a 1-0 win in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund. The Germans will host the second leg on March 8, with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.
  • Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus broke a metatarsal in Monday’s 2-0 Premier League win at Bournemouth. The striker is likely to miss the rest of the season.

Athletics

  • Sprinting legend Usain Bolt stated that he has no regrets over announcing his decision to retire from the sport later in the year, “I’ve just done everything I wanted to do in the sport,” Bolt was quoted as saying after winning the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award in Monaco.

Chess

  • India International Master Padmini Rout held eighth seed Chinese GM Zhao Xue to a draw in the first game of the second round of World Women’s Chess Championship on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Dronavalli Harika also registered a draw against Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan.

Table Tennis

  • Harmeet Desai and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan entered the main draw of the ITTF World Tour India Open on Wednesday.

Hockey

  • Dabang Mumbai rode on skipper Florian Fuchs’ last-minute field goal to eke out a close 3-2 win over Delhi Waveriders and seal their place in the semifinals of the Hockey India League on Wednesday.
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“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.