Cowan inspired by Hayden

Chennai: Australia opener Ed Cowan is confident of retaining his position despite Shane Watson’s return from injury.

There has been much speculation recently over the batting slot Watson should occupy in the upcoming four-Test series against India, with some suggesting he should bat as an opener along with David Warner.

Cowan on Sunday defended his record as an opener with David Warner.

“I’m quite comfortable with myself and Davey (Warner) opening the batting,” Cowan said. “We’ve been the most successful opening partnership over the last 14 months both in terms of volume of runs and average per innings.

“So I can’t see why anyone would suggest they’d want to break that partnership up… But it will be great to have Shane in good form, batting somewhere in the top six.”

Cowan said the question of Watson possibly returning to opening was no issue at all within the team’s ranks.

“The public want to have their say and we understand that. There’s nothing I can do but score runs and enjoy trying to win Test matches for Australia,” he said.

“The trial-by-public takes care of itself if you’re scoring runs.

Shane Watson has had a great one-day series but so has George Bailey. I don’t think we can read into one-day form particularly much. I’m sure Shane will contribute wherever he’s told to bat… If I’m doing all that I can and keep scoring runs, then Shane opening the batting doesn’t become an issue.”

Speaking ahead of Australia’s first warm-up game against Board President’s XI, Cowan was enthusiastic about his first trip to India.

“The team needs to acclimatise to the conditions as soon as possible. It’s hot but not too hot! It was a good old-fashioned smash up in training and we are starting to get used to the humidity,” says the left-hander from New South Wales.

Cowan was eager to return to competitive cricket and looked forward to the two-day practice game from Tuesday. “It has been a long break since the SCG Test versus Sri Lanka. I am itching to get back to playing the longer version of the game once again.

Cowan said retired Australian opener Matthew Hayden’s impressive record on Indian soil was an inspiration and he too is hopeful of scoring a lot of runs in the series.

“I think it’s hard not to be inspired by him for me and for any aspiring Australian cricketer coming through international cricket. The way he performed in 2001 was incredible,” he said.


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