Mohali: Ed Cowan is a greedy batsman, but not in the conventional sense. For most top-order players, the main aim is to score as many runs as possible, racking up the centuries so the statistics make for happy reading even as the team benefits. Cowan's approach, powered by a heightened understanding of his strengths, weaknesses and role in a team in transition, is to bat as long as possible. While cricket is, in the end, about runs and wickets, there is a logic to the manner in which Cowan operates, simply occupying the crease and protecting partnerships while other, more fluent batsmen go after the bowling.
This shone through in Cowan's approach on Friday (March 15), when he batted 238 balls and stayed out in the middle five minutes short of six hours. "My plans have almost come full circle. I guess, coming over here (to India), 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," said Cowan of his method. "So I guess it has come full circle as to how I want to bat, and that's fighting and grinding them out, and if it takes all day to get 86 or 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 them not being able to get me out."
Cowan told reporters he had hoped to bat 350 balls, in the firm knowledge that if he did that, a century would come his way. On the day, Cowan fell 14 short of three figures, but he was unlikely to lose sleep over not reaching the landmark, having set a different benchmark by which to judge himself. "What I said to Mickey Arthur 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," said Cowan. "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 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."