'Plans have almost come full circle'

If one were to recall some of the left-handed Australian openers from the recent past -- which includes the likes of Mark Taylor, Justin Langer and more recently Matthew Hayden – Ed Cowan doesn’t compare favourably to those greats.

Averaging just under 34 after 16 Tests, including the ongoing third Test here, Cowan’s continued presence in the team is an indicator of lack of choice in the Australian set-up. More an effective bat than elegant, the southpaw produced a workmanlike 86 that held the visitors’ innings together on the second day here on Friday but the 30-year-old felt he should have carried on for some more time.

“My plans have almost come full circle,” he noted when asked about lessons he has learnt from the first two Tests. “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 a full circle as to how I want to bat and that’s fighting and grinding them (spinners) out and if it takes all day to get 86 or even 50 it doesn’t really matter,” he said.

“My job in these conditions for this team is to bat for as long as I possibly can, even almost taking the runs out of it and just try to bat up time, soaking up a lot of balls. I have got so many shot makers (to follow) so I guess my game plan has changed a lot in that sense; from putting pressure on them to them not being able to get me out,” he explained.

Cowan was dropped thrice en route his knock and the batsman felt he needed that luck. “No, I wouldn’t say that,” he said upon suggestions that part of credit for his knock should go to Indian fielders.

“I would say you need a bit of luck to get some runs in these conditions some days. I felt like in this series I haven’t had a lot of luck so I had a bit of luck today but I wouldn’t credit poor fielding for the runs I made.”

While Ravindra Jadeja said there wasn’t much turn in the wicket compared to Chennai and Hyderabad pitches, Cowan said the surface here was quite similar to the one in the previous Test. “A pretty similar wicket to what we saw in Hyderabad. There is obviously no grass on it and (there are) a lot of cracks. If the ball 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 hard wicket to get out,” he offered.

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