Cowan set to survive selection axe for Chennai Test

Sydney, Feb 20 (ANI): Opener Ed Cowan is set to be retained in the Australian Test team with coach Mickey Arthur indicating they will keep the faith in the left-handed batsman even if his opening partner David Warner is cleared to play in the first Test against India, starting Friday in Chennai.

Cowan's tenure in the baggy green has become increasingly shaky amid a push for Shane Watson to return to the top of the Australian order, given the all rounder will play exclusively as a batsman in this four-Test series, News.com.au reports.

Warner enters the series opener at MA Chidambaram Stadium battling a thumb injury, but the explosive left-hander is expected to play, pending a drama-free nets session in Chennai on Wednesday, the paper said.

While Cowan's detractors have spotlighted his average of 32.82 from 13 Tests, the compact Tasmanian has done little wrong on this tour, posting scores of 40, 53 and 58 in Australia's two warm-up games.

Arthur said Cowan has come out of these practice games with his head held high, adding he had a good method against the spin here and he's played exceptionally well.

Arthur added they got to look again at the squad and see what they think is going to be the best possible way of winning, adding he do thinks though that they have just come off a series where they beat Sri Lanka 3-0 in their last Test series and do those players get first opportunity remains a question.

Arthur said dropping Cowan would be a tough call but that's something they have to only weigh up once Warner is fit or not fit.

Asked if Watson would definitely bat at second drop, Arthur said it's a little bit difficult to give that away right now, adding let us first see how Warner comes about and then they would try to solve their opening conundrum. (ANI)

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