Shikhar Dhawan played like Don Bradman, says Ed Cowan

Ed Cowan praised Indian debutant Shikhar Dhawan’s knock in Mohali and its impact on the result © PTI

By Kushan Sarkar

New Delhi: Mar 20, 2013

Australia opener Ed Cowan on Wednesday gave a huge compliment to India‘s latest batting sensation Shikhar Dhawan by equating his breathtaking effort of 187 on debut to the batting style of legendary Sir Donald Bradman.

“He [Dhawan] played like Don Bradman,” Cowan’s reply made it evident as to what kind of impact the innings had on the Australian team.

“He played as good as anyone I have seen bat in international cricket. This was his first Test innings and he played every ball on its merit and had little room for error. Every batsman sometimes have their own days and it was his day out there,” Cowan further stated.

The opener however remained non-committal about the availability of skipper Michael Clarke, who is down with back spasms.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has got Cowan out twice and the left-hander termed the UP youngster as a “canny bowler.”

“He got me twice out in six innings and I can’t say that it’s a bogey thing. Why Kumar is different bowler to Sharma [Ishant] is that he gets the ball to skid. He has the ability to bowl every ball at a height that it can hit the stumps.

He’s been too good in Hyderabad and is a canny bowler. Every ball he bowls can get you leg before. I am certainly aware of what he can do but it won’t handicap my thought process.”

Cowan reiterated that the team is improving as far as playing the Indian spinners are concerned.

“It’s important to know that only four guys have played Test cricket in India before. Here you play a lot of spinners and back home, you don’t play so many spinners. We played spin a lot better in Mohali than we played in Hyderabad. If you are not learning, then there’s an issue but everyone is improving.”

Cowan feels that James Pattinson‘s availability will be big plus as Starc has been ruled out due to ankle injury.

“Starc bowled well with the second new ball [in Mohali] but now Pattinson is available. He was one of the best bowlers in the first two matches and so we are looking forward to the battle. Sport is a result driven business. If we are winning it becomes easier and when you are not winning, you try to find combinations.”

Former Australian pacer Damien Fleming had taken a dig at his writing skills, stating that “Cowan would get Noble Peace Prize for his presentation.”

Asked whether he had got back at Fleming, a smiling Cowan replied, “I have been off twitter for almost one year as it stops people from attacking you. I haven’t read what he has written but obviously it’s going to be humourous. He’s funny bloke but if he comes and tells me loudly, I will surely get back at him.”

“I have just spoken to him. He basically said that best possible medical team is working overtime on his ‘back’. It’s a condition that he has had for a long time. It’s a day-to-day proposition. I don’t know what is the possibility or probability of him playing the Test but he’s [Clarke] is confident. Because he is familiar with it [injury] and deals it with on a daily basis.”

Despite a 0-3 hammering so far and the possibility of a 0-4 defeat, Cowan expectedly harped on the “positives” that has emerged from this tour.

“No doubt, if you look at the result, it has been disappointing but if you look at the bigger picture. It’s been really positive to an extent to get the guys up to speed. The experience of playing in the sub-continent has been a positive and has added to their cricketing knowledge. The juniors would feel that it has added to the knowledge base and they can tap it when they come back in four years’ time.”

Cowan accepted that not scoring big hundreds like the Indians, has been the one of the prime reason for team’s disastrous show in the three Test matches.

“I think the wickets played on beautifully. It is a good batting wickets, if you can get in. The difference has been that their guys have converted the good starts into match-winning knocks while including myself, we have go out in 30’s, 40’s or 80’s. Their players have gone onto score 200’s and 180’s. That’s a part of the cause as guys at our end didn’t go onto score huge.”