Meticulous opener Ed Cowan leaves nothing to chance
- by: Mark Hayes
- From: Herald Sun
- October 30, 2012 12:00AM
Ed Cowan spent part of the Australian winter watching South Africa play in England to prepare for the summer ahead. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: Herald Sun
AN author, scholar and voracious reader, it should come as no surprise that Ed Cowan is thoroughly prepared to face South Africa.
In England before the Australia A tour this winter, the opening batsman spent time scouting the Proteas on their Test tour having never faced any of the vaunted pace attack.
Fresh off a breezy, run-a-ball 74 in Sunday night’s Ryobi Cup loss to Victoria, the Tasmanian said it had been the perfect lead-up to face the world’s top-ranked Test team in Brisbane.
“I’m a meticulous planner, so when I was in England (before the Australia A tour) when they (the South Africans) were playing the Test series against England, I watched them pretty closely,” Cowan said.
“I certainly already have my plans in place for those bowlers and I’ll … really knuckle down, and after this (week’s Sheffield) Shield game (against South Australia), really start preparing for their bowlers.
“On the flipside, they haven’t seen me bat. It might be a bit of a staring contest first up.
“Much has been made of the Proteas’ one-two bowling punch of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, but Cowan is also wary of emerging paceman Vernon Philander, who claimed 14 Australian wickets in his first two Test matches at home last year.
“He’s obviously a high-class bowler (and has) bowled beautifully for 12 to 18 months,” Cowan said.
“He wasn’t quite as effective in England — they seemed to counter him really well.
“I think the Gabba will probably suit his style of bowling.
“Again, that’s just another challenge of opening the batting.”
Cowan said facing Victoria’s star-studded line up in Shield and Ryobi Cup matches in the past week had also been valuable.
“I feel like my batting’s on the way up and I’m where I want to be,” he said.
“I feel that with my batting there is a bit of a crescendo there in form. This week was a really good investment week.
“Any time you play Victoria you’re always going to come up against some great fast bowlers, so it was fantastic preparation.”