Cowan rues absence of DRS after contentious dismissal
Debutant Australia opener Ed Cowan rued the absence of the Decision Review System (DRS) in the ongoing Test series against India and called upon the ICC to make the technology uniform for all Test-playing nations.
"As someone who loves his cricket and has watched a lot of cricket, I just don't understand why it can't be handed down by the ICC to be uniform in all the games. And that's me speaking as an outsider and not as someone who has been in the bubble for a long time," said Cowan, after starting his career with an impressive 68 on Day 1 of the first Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday.
Cowan's comments came following his debatable dismissal at a crucial juncture.
Australia were 214 for 5 when Cowan was given out caught behind off Ravichandran Ashwin. Television replays, however, showed that umpire Ian Gould may have erred.
"I was disappointed to get out. It was a bit of a lazy shot. You saw the replays, you saw my reaction, you can join the dots I guess. With the DRS, I'm an interesting perspective because I've been a consumer of the game for so long. This is day one on the job for me."
'Strangely, I wasn't nervous'
Another decision that rubbed Australia the wrong way was the dismissal of Mike Hussey, who was given caught behind off Zaheer Khan.
"It's a bit of gut-wrenching experience, doesn't matter whether it's first ball or you're on 150. It was a massive movement in the game, a huge moment. We'd just had a 100-run partnership, wrestled back the momentum, almost a 50-run partnership.
"We felt we were really half an hour away from really nailing them, grinding them into dust. We get through that Zaheer spell unscathed and it's a completely different complexion to the day's play."
Cowan's innings, though, was still immensely useful for Australia and announced the arrival of an opener who could serve the hosts for many years.
"Strangely, I wasn't nervous. I can't explain why. I was a little anxious when we won the toss and batted, but no more than we would've been if I was playing state cricket for Tasmania at Bellerive.
"Those nerves of wanting to contribute for the team upfront, it's my job to set the game up. I should've been more a lot more nervous. I had to keep pinching myself to think 'mate, you should be more nervous here, more anxious,' but being relaxed really helped me through it and it felt like another bat on ball contest."
'I'm not a big scoreboard watcher at the best of times'
Cowan appeared to bat pretty slow in the first session, when he scored only 14 runs from nearly two hours of batting.
"It didn't really feel like I was slow to get going. It really feels like a new-ball wicket so that first hour's looking just to leave well, play the ball late.
"I'm not a big scoreboard watcher at the best of times, so I didn't really notice I wasn't scoring. It just felt like I was playing well, I was in the contest and the runs came after lunch when they probably didn't bowl as well as they wanted to. But when they did bowl well, it was hard to score."
The 29-year-old was delighted to have got a chance to bat alongside Ricky Ponting at the hallowed MCG.
"Every moment you get to bat with Ricky Ponting is a special one. Having grown up watching him play on the TV, it's just a huge honour to be in the same team as him, whether it's Tasmania or Australia.
"I thought he played beautifully today. He got shaken up with a good bouncer early that busted the side of his helmet, but it's a measure of the man that he was calm enough to get through that tough little spell and play as well as he did."
'I can keep scoring runs to keep ensuring selection'
Cowan was realistic enough to believe that it could be the start of a long career.
"I've stopped reading the press a little bit, but you still have a little bit of a sneak. It's your Test debut, why not? People were eulogising a little bit -- journeyman this. To me it felt like the start of a career, not as though it was something I had learnt and this was the end. In that sense it was just great to contribute and, hopefully, I can keep scoring runs to keep ensuring selection."
The debutant said the thing he remembers most of his first day in Test cricket was getting the baggy green cap.
"Before the game, that moment of getting the baggy green and putting it on my head, that's something that will certainly stay with me. I was pretty keen to face the first ball, that's the stuff you tell your grandkids about, facing the first ball on Boxing Day.
"The first run was nice because it means not walking off with a duck next to my name. But I think probably the straight drive, my first four was as good a shot as I played."
The Tasmanian left-hander said he has benefited from playing on a green, seaming track at Hobart back home.
"Your technique has to be good; you've got to know where your off-stump is, and so batting becomes easier when you do get wickets that don't look like your front lawn.
"The ball is still moving, we saw with the second new ball, the 60th over Zaheer Khan around the wicket to Michael Clarke, pitched off stump, beat the outside edge that's the 64th over. So there's still a bit in the wicket if you're prepared to bend your back."
'I think we've got our noses ahead'
Cowan had no problem with batting first after Michael Clarke decided to take first strike on an overcast morning.
"We were always going to bat. We know it's a new ball wicket. We were prepared to do the hard yards up front to reap them later in the day, which we did to a degree. Was it Ian Chappell who said nine times out of ten you bat and on the tenth, you think about batting. We were always going to bat and set up the game from there. That's positive cricket.
"I thought it was a great day's cricket. The bat had its moments. The ball had its moments. There was turn, there was bounce but if you were good enough to play your shots, you could score runs. So it was great to see a good cricket wicket day one. They bowled really well in patches and I thought we batted well in patches. I think we've got our noses ahead."
'Umesh Yadav has that X-factor'
Cowan praised Ashwin and claimed Umesh Yadav has that X-factor which could make him very successful in international cricket, but his pick of the lot was Ishant Sharma.
"I think he (Yadav) bowled pretty similar to how he bowled in the practice game, to be honest. He's raw, he's exciting, he's got a bit of X-factor.
"I thought Sharma was the pick of the bowlers, particularly that middle spell in the middle session. That was hard work. He bowled beautifully -- 20 overs for 40 runs all day. I thought he was the pick."
"He (Ashwin) bowled really well all day. I thought he mixed his pace up well, over and around the wicket, kept changing that."
Image: Umesh Yadav celebrates with team-mates