What Cowan promised coach Arthur in his presentation
Australia opener Ed Cowan revealed that he had told coach Mikey Arthur that he would bat for long periods and provide solidity to the batting. And he did!
While four Australian players were dropped from the squad for third Test in Mohali for indiscipline and not making presentations to coach Mickey Arthur, opener Ed Cowan set an example as the perfect team man.
The opener not only submitted a detailed and well-planned presentation, but also lived to up his promise by scoring a vital half-century on Day 2 of the ongoing Test.
Cowan revealed that he had told Arthur that he would take the onus on himself to bat for long periods and provide solidity to the batting, which has struggled against the Indian spinners.
"What I said to Mickey was that I want to be accountable, to bat for a long period of time and I put a figure on that, but that is between me and Mickey.
"That is what I wanted to be held to and I wanted to be held to a few other team things as well, but that is between me, Mickey and the team."My personal accountability is to bat for a long time. I didn't bat for as long as I would like, but felt like I did part of a job for sure," said Cowan, at the end of the day's play on Friday.
Image: Ed Cowan
The left-hander top-scored with a gutsy innings of 86
The left-hander top-scored for Australia with a gutsy innings of 86 that helped the Aussies reach 273 for 7 at stumps.
He also benefited from India's lacklustre showing in the field as he was dropped thrice.
Virat Kohli put down two difficult chances when he was on 35, and then again on 64, while Cheteshwar Pujara dropped a simple catch at short leg when his score was 85.
What was most impressive about Cowan's knock was the amount of time he spent at the crease. He held fort for nearly four hours while facing 238 balls.
His opening partnership of 137 runs with David Warner, who scored 71, helped give the team a good start.
Image: Ed Cowan and David Warner
'My plans have almost come full circle'
Before today's half-century, Cowan had failed to impress with the bat, aggregating just 109 runs in four innings. He attributed those failures to small mistakes he made out in the middle.
"I did think in the last two Tests half a mistake you are back in the change room, and that was half a mistake was me going outside my plans; so it was my fault. But it can go the other way, as we saw today.
"They are great conditions to play in, so challenging, and you have just to be on the game every ball; there is no doubt about that. A little bit of luck never goes astray," he said.
"My plans have almost come full circle. I felt in Chennai, well I guess, coming over here I had in my mind that I had to put pressure on the spinners by attacking them. I made that mistake in Chennai, not a great shot in the first innings when I was set; so, I guess, it has come full circle as to how I want to bat. That's fighting and grinding them out and if takes all day to get 86, or you know 50, it doesn't really matter."My job in these conditions for this team is to bat for as long as I possibly can, almost taking the runs out of it, just try to bat up time, soaking up a lot of balls. I have got so many shot-makers, so, I guess, my game plan has changed a lot in that sense from putting pressure on them by not being able to get me out," the left-hander added.
Image: Ed Cowan
Targetting 350-run mark
Cowan pointed out that Australia are targeting a total around the 350-run mark which would put them in a strong position with three days remaining in the match.
"I don't think we have got enough runs at the moment but if we can get another 70 or 80 runs in the morning.... 350 runs on the board on a wicket that is playing few tricks already I believe that is a lot of runs if we bowl well. That is the key, because if you bowl poorly it doesn't matter what the surface is like," he added.
Cowan says the wicket is pretty similar to the one in the second Test in Hyderabad which India won by an innings and 135 runs."A pretty similar wicket to what we saw in Hyderabad. There is obviously no grass on it, lot of cracks, so the ball, if catches the crack, it can deviate either way. The ball is roughing up so we saw a lot of reverse swing. It seemed to me a pretty similar wicket, like Hyderabad, and I think it will pan out pretty much like that. If we bowl well enough it is a tough wicket to score but if you get in it is a hard wicket to get out," he said.
Image: Steven Smith