Left-handed opener Ed Cowan has had a reasonable tour of India so far in otherwise disappointing tour for the beleaguered Australians. Cowan, who made his Test debut against India in 2011, has had scores of 29, 32 (Chennai), 4, 44 (Hyderabad) and 86 and 8 (Mohali).
“It is a tough tour,” he admitted but at the same time, the experience of playing in the sub-continent has been a real positive one. “There is no doubt if you look at the results that it has been a tough tour but I think the bigger picture in terms of development it has been a really positive tour in the sense we have been able to get guys up to speed probably not quickly enough but we are improving and the guys feel as though the experience of playing in the sub-continent has been a really positive one for their game.
“They can be added to the knowledge of playing cricket I guess, you don’t gain if you merely play at home so to do that it feels we are adding to our cricket knowledge base and hopefully those younger guys if they are back in four years’ time they can really tap into that,” he said after the Australian team had a practice session at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Wednesday.
With the possibility of ‘Brownwash’ looming large, Cowan said there was no defeatist attitude in the team. “We are confident as we have been in every Test that we can win the Test if we play as well as we possibly can. We haven’t done that yet. We are the first to put up hands up and say we haven’t played as well as we possibly can partly due to the skills of the opposition and partly due to our own shortcoming.
“We know that if we can put pressure on India for a long period of time we have a good chance of winning the Test match. Certainly there is no defeatist attitude in our dressing room and as for the conditions, few guys have played quite a bit of cricket here, whether it be with the Delhi Daredevils or during the IPL, so we have a hang of the conditions.”
Saying that it is always challenging to play in this part of the world, Cowan said only four players in this team played in India before this tour . “So the variability is that you face a lot of spin over here and the conditions suit spinners, at home you don’t face many spinners and the conditions don’t suit the spinners. We have had to get up speed, it has taken a while but I think we played spin a lot better in Mohali than in Hyderabad.
“As I said if we are adding to that knowledge bank, something can come off it. If we are not learning and doing the mistakes then you got an issue. I think everyone is improving but we are not improving quick enough to put the pressure on the Indians for a long period of time.”
Injury to Mohali hero Shikhar Dhawan is great news for the Australians.
“Dhawan played like Don Bradman. That was as good an innings as I have seen any from any player in the world. The fact that he did it in his first Test innings, he just had a day out and every batsman sometimes has a day out. It just happened to be his first crack at it. We bowled a lot of variety, he treated every ball on its merit and at the same time there was so little room for error. It was a hell of an innings.”
Describing Bhuvaneshwar Kumar as a canny bowler, Cowan said that he was different from Ishant Sharma. And why is he a different bowler? “Kumar skids the ball unlike Sharma. He has got me twice in six innings. He doesn’t bowl the ball very quickly but every ball is at the height that it is going to hit the stumps. It is something that I am aware of, it is something like the 50/50 kind of dismissals that could go the other way. But it is not something that is handicapping my thought process because I know how he is trying to get me out. He was too good in Hyderabad the other day but he is a very canny bowler.”