Ed Cowan

Top-order batsman with Tasmania and Australia

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Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer jog out to bat

Life as an opening batsman

Swimming between the flags

Trust is the main ingredient of any successful opening partnership, and trust is something that is cultivated over months and years, to build a team within a team

Michael Clarke (left), and Michael Hussey (first from right) speak to team-mates at a training session

What does good team culture consist of?

Team spirit is defined not by words but by deeds, although these might not be obvious. And the advent of the T20 mercenary has complicated things somewhat

A real test? Not in your backyard

Playing Test cricket overseas is the greatest examination of skill a cricketer must pass. Despite the increasing uniformity of the touring experience, playing abroad hasn't really got easier

When cricket is like being in love

The heady feeling of playing in a Test match, which can lay bare your every emotion, is in some ways similar to the early days of a blooming romance

What's so great about a batting average?

Runs, averages and wickets hardly tell the story of a player, a match or a career. We need more meaningful statistics in cricket

Why Australia needs spicy pitches

There has been comment about result wickets in Shield cricket, but those aren't as bad as they're being made out to be

The skewed realities of the Big Bash League

Test aspirants have been left facing pay cuts, while those with prodigious Twenty20 skills look forward to getting big money for little work