The Ashes

‘He’s a bloody genius with line and length’: Starc tips Hazlewood for Ashes success

The left-armer said the medium-pacer’s discipline allows him and Pat Cummins to ‘blast teams out’.

Mitchell Starc says pace partner Josh Hazlewood’s unerring line and length will allow his fellow bowlers to let rip at England’s batsmen in the Ashes Test series. Starc and Hazlewood form a potent new-ball attack for Australia in the series, which gets underway in Brisbane on November 23.

Backing them up is another New South Wales tearaway, Pat Cummins, who has been singled out by Australian leg-spin great Shane Warne as the Ashes destroyer with his searing pace. Hazlewood will be fresh and rested for the series, having played just one Sheffield Shield game since coming back from a side strain injury.

Test spearhead Starc may have captured two hat-tricks for New South Wales in a recent Shield win over Western Australia, but he claims Hazlewood will prove to be Australia’s spark.

Starc said Hazlewood’s nagging line and length would tie up one end and allow him and Cummins to attack from the other. “He’s a bloody genius with line and length, it allows Pat and I to be aggressive and that’s how I bowl,” Starc told reporters in Brisbane on Monday. “We can unleash from the other end, bowl as quick as we can and attack. He [Hazlewood] takes his wickets with line and length and Pat and I come in and try and blast teams out, try and attack the stumps and really intimidate. We complement each other really well.”

Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood and fourth pacer Jackson Bird are training together this week in Brisbane instead of playing Shield games for their state sides. Starc has taken 17 wickets at 12.70 in this season’s Sheffield Shield, but said he had yet to reach peak form ahead of the first Test. “I think I was just used at the right times and cleaned up the tail against WA,” he said. “Josh was the one who blasted out the top order and Patty bowled really well in the middle.”

Starc played down talk that he had to dominate, just as fellow left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson did to secure victory for Australia in the last Ashes series Down Under in 2013. “I think we have an attack that is gelling well,” Starc said. “It doesn’t have to be one guy who stands up. If someone has a Mitchell Johnson-type series, fantastic. But if we win the Ashes it doesn’t matter who gets all the wickets. Hopefully we can stay together as a [bowling] group and do something special over the next few years.”

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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.