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Cowan Australia's best hope: Cowan


Australian discard Ed Cowan has a message for whoever Test selectors pick as their next opening batsman: I’m better than you.

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Cowan doesn’t expect to feature when Australian selectors on Friday announce their squad for the first Test against New Zealand.

“I’m not expecting my name to be read out,” Cowan said after making an unbeaten 82 for NSW against South Australia in yesterday’s Sheffield Shield match.

“But I know that over the course of the season, I’m confident I can prove myself to be a better player than the guys who will get the first opportunity.

“I wish them every luck because I’m a massive fan of the Australian cricket team…but I feel like I’m in a good place and if they need some experience then I’m happy to step up.”

Australian selectors are expected to plump for 22-year-old West Australian Cameron Bancroft to fill the opening batting slot vacated by Chris Rogers’ retirement.

Bancroft is tipped to be the only new chum in the squad for the opening Test against the Kiwis, starting next Thursday in Brisbane.

Batsman Usman Khawaja is also in the frame to play his first Test in more than two years in a new-look Australian side.

Gone are former captain Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Rogers, Brad Haddin and Ryan Harris, who were all Ashes squad members in the Australian winter.

Pink ball “abnormal”

Cowan also lent his candour to the debate over the trialled “pink ball”, which he insists doesn’t behave differently at night – it just behaves abnormally all the time.

He said he found the experimental ball easier to see at night than day during the Blues’ Sheffield Shield game against South Australia.

I’d be disappointed if that was the end product of the pink ball

NSW enter the third day at Adelaide Oval in an unassailable position – 1-217 in their second innings, a whopping 359 runs ahead, after a Rednecks batting capitulation.

Captain Steve Smith will resume on 103 not out and Cowan is unbeaten on 82 after both found no great trouble with the pink ball at night.

“I don’t think it necessarily behaves differently under lights, I haven’t found that at all,” Cowan said.

“I think it behaves abnormally through the whole innings! Some will swing, some will seam. It’s just not that consistent but generally I don’t think it’s a day-time, night-time thing.”

Cowan found the pink ball harder to spot during the day.

“Both Smithy and I commented during that partnership that when it’s night, it was certainly easier to pick up the seam than it is during the day,” he said.

“Sometimes during the day I reckon the seam can get blurred in the reflection of the sightscreen and the ground, but it was nice to bat against it under lights…hopefully the more cricket they play with the pink ball, the better it gets.

“I’d be disappointed if that was the end product of the pink ball … as long as they keep developing it and pouring money into it.”


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