India v Australia, 4th Test, Delhi March 20, 2013

We're unified by what happened in Mohali - Cowan

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Australian opener Ed Cowan has said he raised concerns with the coach Mickey Arthur and captain Michael Clarke about the slipping standards within the squad in the lead-up to the sacking of four players in Mohali. Arthur, Clarke and the team manager Gavin Dovey collectively took a hard line as a result of the general slide in behaviour and told four players, including the vice-captain Shane Watson, that they would not be considered for the Mohali Test after failing to complete a task set by Arthur.

However, the team management has been at pains to explain that the decision was not the result of a one-off lapse and that standards within the wider squad had been unacceptable during the tour. It later emerged that some of the minor infractions that had built up included players being late to meetings or physio appointments, wearing the wrong uniforms and giving back-chat.

Arthur has spoken of the way senior players like Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey helped maintain standards by their own work ethic and their retirements had left a gap in experience and example. As a result, Arthur said the developing group needed to be brought into line, and Cowan said he had spoken to Arthur and Clarke about what he felt were "little things" that were not being done.

"A few little things had crept in," Cowan said. "I had a few conversations with the coach and the captain and the manager about those little things and I'm sure a few other guys did as well. It wasn't just, 'right, this is the moment', there had been a build-up and there always comes a time where there is a breaking point and that happened in Mohali. But now it feels there is some solidarity behind the team moving forward and we're excited by that unity and why it has been created."

Nine days ago, unity was about the last word that would have been used to describe Australia's squad. Not only had four players been unceremoniously stood down for a Test, one of those players, the vice-captain Shane Watson, flew home for the birth of his first child and voiced his displeasure on the way. That led to a public exchange of words between Watson and Cricket Australia's general manager of team performance Pat Howard and questions were raised about Watson's status as a "team player".

However, over the past few days the tensions have eased and Watson rejoined the squad in Delhi for training on Wednesday and could yet captain the side for the fourth Test if Clarke is ruled out due to his back injury. Howard has also appeared in Delhi and the vibe at training on Wednesday was good, all things considered.

"We have been unified by what happened in Mohali and there is no doubt the tough decisions needed to be made if we aspire to be the best team in the world, which we do," Cowan said. "There had to be some tough decisions. It showed immense courage by the leadership group to make those decisions and the group is right behind that. It feels as though we have come together behind that and we feel quite buoyed by the concept of moving forward together."

Moving forward as one has been a key focus for the Australians over the past week, and part of that is senior men needing to show the way in a relatively young group. Although he has played only 16 Tests, Cowan is one of the leaders and if Watson does take charge in Delhi, Cowan would be a natural contender for the vice-captaincy given his mature approach. He said if the opportunity ever arose for him to captain Australia he would jump at the chance.

"Everyone in the team would love to given the opportunity," Cowan said. "My focus is to be a leader around the group, to make sure that Michael has adequate support, to be a leader in terms of how I prepare, how I carry myself on and off the field and how I contribute to bringing guys through and if the opportunity arises because a few people fall over or are injured or whatever then that's something you would love to do, you would never turn that opportunity down.

"For me leadership is much more than having a 'c' next to your name. It is about living the values and ideals that the team have put in place and hopefully people migrate to that. It's not just one or two people, it's five, six, seven core guys contributing to the team moving forward culturally and on the field."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • PrasPunter on March 20, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    I am starting to like this guy - appears to be a thorough professional. Could be limited in his abilities, but no doubt he is putting everything on field and his efforts are really sincere. Wish he is more consistent with the bat. Go Eddy !! Carve for yourself another 3-4 years with the top-order and help to take us where we belong to - the top.

  • dieseldoc on March 21, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    @Potatis..best most sensible comment on the page!

  • Smahuta on March 21, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    Cowan is in fact the second best run scorer on this tour for aus so far. Clarke is marginally ahead of him. So according to a lot of fans here, get rid of the second most prolific scorer on the tour and what are you left with? Not much Id wager.

  • Someguy on March 21, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    @ashlewis - If Cowan is useless, what does that make Watson? Cowan is averaging 33.83 for the series, second best Australian batsman. Watson is averaging 19.25. On batting average for the series, Watson is the 10th best for Australia, I will be very disappointed if he is captains Australia. I don't even think he should be in the team.

    Or lets look at the last year or so, since 2011. Watson averages 26.46. Cowan averages 33.03.

    Cowan is also not a walking emergency ward.

    As a few people have said, he doesn't have the "talent" that Watson does, but he makes better use of his limited abilities than Watson does with all his "talent".

    I doubt you would ever see Cowan spit the dummy and threaten to retire because he got in trouble. Probably because he wants to be there so much that he's not likely to get himself in trouble in the first place.

    I'm not a huge Cowan fan, but Watson is massively over rated. Give me someone who works hard like Cowan over a show pony like Watson.

  • chrynnon on March 21, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Cowan have the second highest runs of any Oz batsman on this tour? He certainly doesn't have the lowest.

    Yet reading all the hate...I'm just so glad you're not selectors.

  • Sunil_Batra on March 21, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    Lets put all this behind us, the whole homework drama has been a complete joke Don't agree with what Cowan did but that's just my opinion. Lets go in and win tmr, Watson will most likely captain, Khawaja may get his first chance and Smith can do more damage withe the bat.

  • ozwriter on March 21, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    @brendan carter. why are you brining up johnson and watson? the point most are making is that cowan is useless. he should stop talking and do more batting.

  • on March 21, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    So many people have missed the point, both `Watson`, and `Johnson`, have undeniable ability. Yet both are the biggest under-performers in Australian Test Cricket, Watson the highest paid player in Australian Cricket, yet has a worse batting average, than all our current batsmen since 2010. Johnson, could not handle being the Bowling Attack leader, crumbled under pressure, also the highest paid of all Australian Bowlers. Peter Siddle, who has had five serious injuries, had too lead the bowling attack after 10 or 11 Test`s. Siddle was an express Bowler, he even was bowling high 150`s, 158.3 klicks too be exact after 4 soul destroying injuries. His last injury has slowed his pace, peaking at 153 klicks, occasionally, but he guides all our younger bowlers. My point is, Watson, and Johnson, are self-centered, selfish people, whereas, Lion-Heart, Siddle is all about the team, and bringing on our young bowlers. All the young up and coming Australian fast bowlers, look up too Peter Siddle.

  • trumpoz on March 21, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    I've got great respect for Ed Cowan in the way he approaches his cricket. He is limited but does the best he can with what he has, not too dissimilar to Geoff Marsh (50 tests with a batting average of 33.18). Given the fragility of the batting order - Cowan is needed at the top if nothing else than to get the shine off of the new ball.

  • OneEyedAussie on March 21, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    If I was Ed Cowan, I would be focusing on fixing my stance so I could open up the leg-side fully to scoring opportunities. I think that cause raise his S/R from 30 to 40, and hence his average to 40 as he seems to be able to reliably face 100 or so balls every innings.

  • PrasPunter on March 20, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    I am starting to like this guy - appears to be a thorough professional. Could be limited in his abilities, but no doubt he is putting everything on field and his efforts are really sincere. Wish he is more consistent with the bat. Go Eddy !! Carve for yourself another 3-4 years with the top-order and help to take us where we belong to - the top.

  • dieseldoc on March 21, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    @Potatis..best most sensible comment on the page!

  • Smahuta on March 21, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    Cowan is in fact the second best run scorer on this tour for aus so far. Clarke is marginally ahead of him. So according to a lot of fans here, get rid of the second most prolific scorer on the tour and what are you left with? Not much Id wager.

  • Someguy on March 21, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    @ashlewis - If Cowan is useless, what does that make Watson? Cowan is averaging 33.83 for the series, second best Australian batsman. Watson is averaging 19.25. On batting average for the series, Watson is the 10th best for Australia, I will be very disappointed if he is captains Australia. I don't even think he should be in the team.

    Or lets look at the last year or so, since 2011. Watson averages 26.46. Cowan averages 33.03.

    Cowan is also not a walking emergency ward.

    As a few people have said, he doesn't have the "talent" that Watson does, but he makes better use of his limited abilities than Watson does with all his "talent".

    I doubt you would ever see Cowan spit the dummy and threaten to retire because he got in trouble. Probably because he wants to be there so much that he's not likely to get himself in trouble in the first place.

    I'm not a huge Cowan fan, but Watson is massively over rated. Give me someone who works hard like Cowan over a show pony like Watson.

  • chrynnon on March 21, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Cowan have the second highest runs of any Oz batsman on this tour? He certainly doesn't have the lowest.

    Yet reading all the hate...I'm just so glad you're not selectors.

  • Sunil_Batra on March 21, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    Lets put all this behind us, the whole homework drama has been a complete joke Don't agree with what Cowan did but that's just my opinion. Lets go in and win tmr, Watson will most likely captain, Khawaja may get his first chance and Smith can do more damage withe the bat.

  • ozwriter on March 21, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    @brendan carter. why are you brining up johnson and watson? the point most are making is that cowan is useless. he should stop talking and do more batting.

  • on March 21, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    So many people have missed the point, both `Watson`, and `Johnson`, have undeniable ability. Yet both are the biggest under-performers in Australian Test Cricket, Watson the highest paid player in Australian Cricket, yet has a worse batting average, than all our current batsmen since 2010. Johnson, could not handle being the Bowling Attack leader, crumbled under pressure, also the highest paid of all Australian Bowlers. Peter Siddle, who has had five serious injuries, had too lead the bowling attack after 10 or 11 Test`s. Siddle was an express Bowler, he even was bowling high 150`s, 158.3 klicks too be exact after 4 soul destroying injuries. His last injury has slowed his pace, peaking at 153 klicks, occasionally, but he guides all our younger bowlers. My point is, Watson, and Johnson, are self-centered, selfish people, whereas, Lion-Heart, Siddle is all about the team, and bringing on our young bowlers. All the young up and coming Australian fast bowlers, look up too Peter Siddle.

  • trumpoz on March 21, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    I've got great respect for Ed Cowan in the way he approaches his cricket. He is limited but does the best he can with what he has, not too dissimilar to Geoff Marsh (50 tests with a batting average of 33.18). Given the fragility of the batting order - Cowan is needed at the top if nothing else than to get the shine off of the new ball.

  • OneEyedAussie on March 21, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    If I was Ed Cowan, I would be focusing on fixing my stance so I could open up the leg-side fully to scoring opportunities. I think that cause raise his S/R from 30 to 40, and hence his average to 40 as he seems to be able to reliably face 100 or so balls every innings.

  • VivGilchrist on March 21, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    @spindizzy, spot on. Nicely put.

  • ozwriter on March 21, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Cowan was probably getting insecure about his spot going to another batsman. That reasons why he instigated such a commotion in the team. Does he think they are really unified? Cowan is certainly not getting Xmas gifts from the 4 players and if Watto had a chance to make his own decisions as captain, Cowan wouldn't be opening anymore. It is important to have good attitude and discipline - but you need to have the talent and skill developed before that. This bloke is a great trier and hardworker - but never good enough for int'l cricket.

  • ARad on March 21, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    @SPINDIZZY is right on the mark and his/her comments! I don't get the journalists/pundits who have been writing about 'professionalism' for the past week or two either.

  • ARad on March 21, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    The 'wisdom' that will become inevitably accepted among those who are unequipped to challenge received wisdom is this: whatever that sounds like wisdom is wisdom. This is now "living the values and ideals that the team have put in place" without questioning them because if you question them, you are against values and unity, aren't you? So do your homework. First text it and then email it. Everything will be just fine if you keep on toeing the line. I am sure Arthur and Clarke would have accepted "this is not the right way to get things accomplished" to be a valid homework point too. I am sure about that given their management, I meant, leadership style!

  • ygkd on March 21, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    We should get this straight - Rogers, Hodge and D. Hussey have collectively made almost four times as many FC runs (at much higher averages) than Cowan, S. Marsh & S. Smith. Yet Rogers, Hodge and D. Hussey played less than a quarter of the Test matches of the other three (and counting down). And we think we still need M. Hussey? Of course we needed him - he was one of those dying breeds - a senior pro who was actually getting a game. Is CA making these selections or is it the ECB making them on our behalf? Seriously, things couldn't get much worse if we just let Andy Flower fill out our national team sheet for us.

  • Cricket316 on March 21, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    @VivGilchrist- No,you're not the only one. Ed,you're struggling to get runs and your place is a big que mark. Cowans acting like a trained robot from the Management to give such statements,when he should be focusing on how to get runs. Yes Man, has to do it to stay in the Team !! All of a sudden he's talking like a senior pro.. Unified ? Well, after the Homework gate, thats not the word you should be using.. !!

    @Popcorn- It wasnt VERY difficult, it was close. Credit goes to Starc,Siddle to pull back a bit. But India had 4 days to defeat a Team that scored 400+ in 1st Innings, India scored rapidly in BOTH the Innings and took 20 wickets, so credit to them.

  • spindizzy on March 21, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    So the managerialism that actually causes large companies to stultify has found root in the Australian cricket team. These people don't recognise that this is a way to achieve mediocrity at the expense of anything good or actually innovative. This sounds like a management consultant - not someone who has a real idea. Until they throw out this stupidity, stop thinking they're a 'profession' and actually just play sport, they'll never approach the top rank again. Play cricket like Australians, not a group of management consultants! It's a pity because it's a waste of talented players.

  • V-Man_ on March 21, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    Really Cowan!!! Really!!! Why is it so hard to admit for the Australians that there is problem. A blind person can see that there are issues within this team and admitting it is the 1st step in solving it. Who are you kidding mate. This is all started with Clarke. Katich got pushed out because of him. Then he complained about Huss and Doughie on the last Indian tour. I doubt Clarke's ability as a leader. It seems like he has divide and rule policy. that's not how you unite a team. the Australian team management also needs to IMPROVE their communication and expectation. This team isn't Steve Waugh's invincibles. They didn't become that good over a night. neither did SA. it took time. One step at a time. So trying to achieve the same standard is very unreasonable. it seems like they are trying become number 1 tomorrow. team selection has been horrible also. Where is the road map to becoming no. 1!!!!

  • wpAus on March 21, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    Great points...now let's hope Ed Cowan speaks less to the media, and makes more tons. Go Aussies!!

  • AnishSomani on March 21, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Aussies played better in India than India did in australia

  • wellrounded87 on March 21, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    @Pras_Punter he is already consistent. He's constantly scoring in the 30's and getting out. He's got very few big scores and very few small scores. Just a lot of 20's and 30's. This guy isn't the ultimate professional, he's a coaches pet. Says and does whatever is asked of him to make the administration look good in order to keep his spot in the side despite underperforming consistently

  • Someguy on March 21, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    I don't get where all the hate is coming from. Sure he's not the most talented batsman going around, but he's doing a hell of a lot better than Watson. As far as bringing his concerns about discipline to the coach and captain, why shouldn't he? We are talking about a group of highly paid professionals and their effort, or lack of it, affects the whole team. I believe he was right to address it before it got out of hand.

  • TeamRocker on March 21, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    I must admit, I've been pretty impressed by Cowan in recent times. He's been looking to adapt his game for the conditions, AND has succeeded. And he's right, the way Starc and Siddle bowled on the last day must have been caused by this new found "unity" (though I would call it desperation). Bad luck that Starc and Clarke are injured, though. That'll probably set the team back a fair bit. Back to Cowan, he just has to find a way to get big scores. Not just 50-80 odd.

  • on March 21, 2013, 2:14 GMT

    Sorry Ed, I don't believe you. Australia has not been in the series since the second day of the 1st Test. All this is about is justifying the poor tour and test selections and attempting to shift the blame away from Clarke's leadership ....

    "Oh!!! Look over there!!! Our only decent bowler didn't do his homework!!! This is all his fault along with two players who haven't played a Test!!!"

    And let's forget to ask the question, "Why were they asked to do the homework??" Because the incompetent selectors chose the wrong touring players resulting in the first time since the last Ashes Series that Australia had lost two consecutive Tests (I think)!!

    So why weren't the players with high skin folds dropped, why weren't the players who back-chatted dropped, why weren't the players who were late for practice dropped and, most importantly, why weren't players who can't bowl and bat dropped??

    Management were very very selective when choosing there targets, weren't they Ed??

  • on March 21, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    @ Big Maxi...a good 30 or 40 opening the innings on a greentop against masters of swing can be absolute Gold. You might start to appreciate his defensive batting abilities including being the best leaver of a cricket ball that we have when James Anderson is hooping the ball a foot and a half both ways on a glooomy overcast english morning. Our attacking all star strokemaking batters all came undone in such conditions in 2005 because they were used to playing all their shots on flat pitches with no movement. Hayden for all his intimidating aura was rendered useless by Flintoff, Jones and Co. Whenever I see Ed leave a ball on Length I am greatful that our selectors had the forsight to select someone with such practical qualities and were happy to bypass other more expansive shot makers.

  • Ignatiuscric on March 21, 2013, 1:31 GMT

    Isn't Clarke senior enough to lead by example and to guide this young crop? When Ed is talking abt Rickys and Husseys work ethics, why cant Clarke do the same considering that he has played with Hussey and Ricky. Cmon pls leave Ricky and Hussey behind and move on.. U will have to play with the resource you have and get the most out of it. The Mohali match was competitive enaf, but the reasoning that it happened coz of the sacking of 4 players is totally absurd. Rather than sacking let the players know what is expected out of them. Mickey please do your own home work on the players, you are paid to coach the team, pls leave if you have ran-out of ideas and wanting to device something new with players feedback.

  • on March 21, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    Got to like Ed's attitude. A bit of maturity might go a long way in a young squad. As for readers suggesting Ed has no right to speak out given he's still trying to seal his spot in the team... there's not a single batsman in the team apart from Clarke that can say his spot is assured at the moment (that's why they're losing). Ed's got as much right as any of the team to make those comments.

  • cricmatters on March 21, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    @popcorn You are either funny or being satirical. Australia could not secure a draw from a rain shortened match and you call it terrific effort. I guess losing the match in 4 days instead of 3 and 1/2 is an improvement in the same way as not losing the match by an innings is. Unlike the previous matches, if India wins the toss in Delhi, there is remote possibility of the game stretching to day five especially if they choose not to enforce the follow on. peace.

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 21, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    Ed Cowan, a player who on merit should not be in the team, was the one that argued that 4 players who on merit should be in the team, should be axed. I smell a rat.

  • srriaj317 on March 21, 2013, 0:37 GMT

    Cowan was probably getting insecure about his spot going to another batsman. That reasons why he instigated such a commotion in the team. Does he think they are really unified? Cowan is certainly not getting Xmas gifts from the 4 players and if Watto had a chance to make his own decisions as captain, Cowan wouldn't be opening anymore. It is important to have good attitude and discipline - but you need to have the talent and skill developed before that. This bloke is a great trier and hardworker - but never good enough for int'l cricket.

  • Mary_786 on March 20, 2013, 23:51 GMT

    @VivGilchrist it's not a good look for Ed. I appreciate the way he speaks his mind, but he might have been better advised to keep this one to himself. He already rubs a lot of people the wrong way and this will hardly endear him.This is not the way to treat your mates and this will come back to him in a negative manner. The gang of 4 were not the only team members missing physio sessions or being late for practice or having their shirt untucked, the implication is that they weren't even the worst offenders (for at least one of them this is their first offence) - the punishment was a staggering overreaction from a coach and a captain unsure of themselves and looking to exert muscle to cover their uncertainty. 2 of the 4 suspended folks didn't even play a test match in this series. Pattinson and Khawaja should have played the Mohali test and it cost us dearly.

  • whoz_who on March 20, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    Players like him are just 'ATTENTION SEEKERS' good media conference won't make you a better player,,,, game followers look at stats not comments you make about others,,, Concern about your own game not others a fifty won't help the team in a winning cause :-)

  • Potatis on March 20, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    Like others, I felt uncomfortable that Ed sounded like a dibber dobber. But think about it, if an olympian had the ambition of a gold medal, they's work extremely hard for it. In a team olympic sport, say rowing, you may have 4 rowers. Two may work hard towards achieving the gold, two might be slack. I think it's fair that one of the hard working rowers tells the coach they don't like that there are two slackers, even if they are the weakest rower themself. Commit to the team goal, or don't row.

    Clarke has stated that it's the team ambition to become #1. Cowan is committed to the goal, and so are others. Some are not trying as hard as they could, making the team goal less likely, which is frustrating to those who are trying. Anyone from Cowan to Lyon can say something to the captain/coach, they don't have to be legends. It's only if they themselves were not trying their hardest that they can't talk. It's different to the schoolyard. In effort, Cowan IS walking the walk,

  • ygkd on March 20, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    Tough decisions do need to be made. The facts of selection are disturbing. Chris Rogers has 18,900 FC runs @ 49.9 - the result is 1 Test. Ed Cowan 5800 FC runs @ 39.6 - 16 Tests. Brad Hodge 17,000 FC runs @ 48.8 - 6 Tests. Shaun Marsh 4400 FC runs @ 35.7 - 7 Tests. David Hussey 12,600 FC runs @ 52.9 - 0 Tests. Steven Smith 2500 FC runs @ 41.9. - 6 Tests. (NB: The FC bowling average of the last two is almost identical - both over 55). These sorts of figures tell a tale of FC results not mattering one iota in the grand scheme of things. Now, I don't mind Cowan. He's a thinker, which is not as common as it could be. But his captaincy ambitions, if he has any (and I wouldn't blame him if he did as there aren't that many other options) won't fit without an assured place in the team. In short, he needs to make runs, a lot of runs, to justify that place. Good on him if he can do that. Australia needs level-headed cricketers. However, if FC form continues to mean nothing then egos will rule.

  • BillyCC on March 20, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    If Cowan plays 30 tests and continues to average his current average, he will be the worst player ever to play for Australia consistently. An opener cannot average 33 in Test cricket. But I'll assess him when he has reached 30 tests, if he gets there.

  • SillyMidPavilion on March 20, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    I really don't get all the hate for Ed Cowan. Sure, he's not the greatest opener to ever play for Australia, but he's usually good for about 30-40 runs each time he bats, and compared to most of our batting lineup on this tour, he's been relatively consistent and relatively successful. Does all the hate simply come from the fact that he's not a Dave Warner-style shotmaker, but rather an accumulator of runs?

  • on March 20, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    its amazing how team culture was so much better when you once in a lifetime bowlers like Warne and McGrath, and once in a generation batsmen like the Waughs, Ponting, Hayden, Gilchrist and Langer...and support cast like Gillespie, Lee, McGill, martyn etc.

    Team CULTURE was SOOOOO much better. Just dont understand what happened!!

  • Humdingers on March 20, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    @popcorn - what game were you watching mate RE: "very difficult"? India won in 4 days!

  • Fandecricket on March 20, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    I'm baffled. We are talking about national team or a class at school. This sounds too weird. I don't want to be at a workplace where I'm treated as a kid. After all cricket is a profession and these guys are paid for it. It's a job like any other, though I don't want a boss like school principal.

  • on March 20, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    So, a player like Ed Cowan, who is struggling to seal his spot in the team talks himself up as a leader, "tells the teacher" on his teammates and then talks about unity? Insecurities bring out the worst in a team. Since players like these don't have the runs or the potential to command a place in the team, they have to resort to complaining and pull other down to retain a spot themselves. If someone smarter than Cowan was in his place, he would have done the same but not shot himself in the foot by telling it to the press. Alas! Cowan's insatiable hunger for limelight has got the better than him and he tells the public of his role in homework-gate. And I see some Aussie fans praising him as being mature and intelligent. Ha! What a bunch of back-stabbers this team has become!

  • VivGilchrist on March 20, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    Is anyone else really starting to dislike this guy. He sounds like the teachers pet at school. Yes, the team standards have fallen Ed, thats why an average player like you keeps getting a game. A complete YES man in my opinion.

  • wake_up_india on March 20, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    How the mighty have fallen! When the Waugh's Austrailans were preparing chin music for Ganguly's Indians, who would have thought that the present situation would ever come to pass. There is something culturally very different in the present Australian squad, including the coach down, than in those days. That is why fixing attitude issues is so important. A team cannot be made of 11 prima donnas.

  • gsingh7 on March 20, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    is this some business meeting cowan. u r opening for aus test side. isnt cricket aus's national sport?? u should be averaging around 50, u must be lowest averaging aussie opener in years gone by.either u score 50's consistently or u play in big bash and domestic matches only. sweet talk will not keep u in test side for long. also, why they persist with hughes on these tracks, he cant do much here . he can score centuries in england not on these rank turners. he is bit like sehwag, he is bouncy-track bully with impressive cut shots. he cant play 10 overs of spin ,even by bangladeshi bowlers.clarke is so overrated, he cant play spin on turners,he can score only on aus wickets.jadeja made him his bunny with his darts.me happy india extract revenge and leapfroged aus in rankings ,now we should win in sa to reach top spot.

  • Chicagoan76 on March 20, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Sorry not buying it. These guys are being told to say these things to the media in return for future consideration into the team. DO NOT buy the story being out out by higher ups at the CA. Now asking for Huss to come back? Wow what happened to having a long term view. I am completely behind the English team for the ashes. As a side note, English are much more fair to players from the subcontinent than the Aussies who are running a clown operation.

  • yogikanna on March 20, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    I am really surprised at the number of Interviews that that Aussie team members give to the press. If they had just kept matters to themselves, they could have easily resolved the matter internally. I don't know why they feel a compulsion to tell everything to the press; it's nice fodder for the public, but not sure if it's healthy for the team to be talking about other team members and about management. It reminds me of Greg Chappell, who used to constantly leak stuff out to the media during his tenure as the coach of Indian team, and everyone knows how that ended. The Aussie team learns to keep matters private and resolve them quietly. Otherwise they are headed for trouble.

  • Beertjie on March 20, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    It's OK to talk the talk, Ed, but can you walk the walk? With that average and range of shots, you're at best a reserve in England (personally I wouldn't even have you there, because Rogers would be my pick for that position). But hey, if you're setting good examples, that'll be enough to keep you in the squad! Very witty@Dhruv Deepak!

  • on March 20, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    whatever heppened i was waiting to c frm long time when team loses starts every thing when India defeting everywhere in England & Aus. same thing heppend around media starts to write so many things so same thing when u win nobody see when u starts to defeat everything starts now ur team is on divide happy to see.

  • on March 20, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    Cowan is a Barrister I heard so I am not surprised at his measured analysis

  • popcorn on March 20, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    I agree with Ed Cowan that Mickey ArtHur's sacking of the 4 lazy cricketers has unified the Team.Look at what this so -called second string Team has done at Mohali. Scored 408,bowled out India for 499, and made it VERY DIFFICULT for India to get 133 with some terrific bowling and fielding.

  • on March 20, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    Sounds like he´d be a better man for the vice captains role than Watson. All of the likes of Cowan, Siddle, Johnson and Watson need to be leading from the front. That two of them were amongst those involved in homeworkgate is quite alarming. Good on Ed for speaking out.

  • cricketfanwrites on March 20, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that Cowan is smart well rounded individual. Having said that, he should act the part and work to bridge the gap between the players internally not 'mouthing off' (even though its all positive stuff) to the public. Further, Mr.Coverdale isn't your job to get input from both sides of this story and report it to the public? Pls get info from the disgruntled faction and report it anonymously. This is the first real test of Clarke's leadership. And so far, he has failed miserably. Dictators are not leaders.

  • on March 20, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    So many negative comment`s for `Ed Cowan`, that are so wrong, open your eyes people, and compare Cowan, too Watson. You will be surprised, Cowan is a far better opening batsman, and a more accomplished batsman all round, compared too Watson. Five of Australia`s, Six states and Two Territories had suffered Monsoonal weather over the last 3 seasons, including the Indian tour, the pitches were horrible for both sides. Just like the Kiwi tour before the Indian tour, this season the only reasonable pitch was Adelaide oval, and it was crap, if not for Faf Du Plessis, amazing innings, the Aussie`s would have won this test. The weather has changed, and so have the cricket pitches, us avid Test Match followers, all we want is a good honest contest, and hopefully a great contest, and even a result, after 4 or 5 days. The Greatest Game in the World, and MS Dhoni, finally agrees,

  • on March 20, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    I am wondering whether I watched the same three matches Aus Lost - the ones Cowans played and watched by the team management ????

    Aus batsmen didnt have the technique to play quality spin bowling and at crucial times the swing bowling as well - They had very few minutes in the game when their batting was on Top - as far as Aus bowling is concerned look at the no of indian batsmen scoring big runs ...the fact Aus spinners are not international class - their faster bowlers canot adapt to different conditions ..... The fancy talk by all these guys are only to hide the fact their cupboard is empty

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on March 20, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    cowan loves these pressers doesn't he? Maybe a little more time focusing on the game ed. and if I hear one more time of how he takes the shine off the ball blah blah blah! He gets in and never goes on with it, the opening partnership have a nasty habit of getting out at the same time and leaving the side 2 down with two new batsmen at the crease.

  • venkatesh018 on March 20, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    Eddie, I always knew you to be a committed cricketer and wise head through your Cricinfo columns. But you have taken your contribution to the group to another level now. Cricketers like yourself make the job of the captain and coach much easier.

  • dwblurb on March 20, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge, is the fact that you make a negative comment about the "state of Australian cricket" on every single article about the Australian team the result of a build-up of frustration during 16 years of Australian Ashes dominance, or some other affliction?

  • on March 20, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Cowan's concerns were obviously sincere otherwise he wouldnt dare being open about expressing them to management. At the end of the day he has to get along with his teammates and if he can look them in the eye and tell them exactly what he said and that it was for the benefit of the team then all power to him. His contribution as being part of the most successful opening partnership also cannot be denied. If an opening batsman scores 30+ almost everytime he bats against good bowling and at the toughest time of the innings then he is doing his job. An openers job is not to get 100 one innings and 0 the next but to take the shine of the ball and get the team to 0-70 on consistent basis rather than 4-80. It is also a bowlers era rather than a batsman's era with all the top teams having good seam attacks and bowler friendly pitches being prepared so keep that in mind before comparing him to our previous overratred flat track bullies in Hayden and Langer!

  • Sunil_Batra on March 20, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    @Dhruv Deepak sums it up the best.. I won't critise Cowan, but i don't like him talking about standards when clearly our batting has not been up to scratch this series. I would rather the batsman focus more on their abilitiy to play spin then on thiswhole homework drama which frankly has been very badly handled and lead us to going with some of our best players sitting out the Mohali test.

  • inefekt on March 20, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    So, Cowan has admitted a role in the ridiculous homework-gate saga? Well, he may be worried about the attitudes of his fellow team mates but if I were him I'd be more worried about my own form. His record is awful and he should never have been on the plane to India in the first place. If I were to offer the man some advice it would be to stop wasting time being a trouble maker and instead spend it in the nets working on your flawed technique.

  • Anwar-Lara on March 20, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    @Dazako, yes but is that good enough?? what i meant was he should seal his spot first.. batting long will not make him a great opener he needs to get big runs...

  • on March 20, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    One has to understand that Cowan is the only private school boy in this team hence his delusional statement about standards dropping.....score more runs son do not know why he is in the team....standards dropping..... my.....

  • Flemo_Gilly on March 20, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    If i was Cowan i would focus on just runs, runs wins respect, not talking yourself up as one of the leaders of the team. He reminds me of the school kid which would tell the teacher on you, i didn't like those kids.

  • Mitty2 on March 20, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    @FFL just compare with compton, Cowan actually scored a ton against a bowling attack that are considered easily the worlds best on a conducive pitch; whereas Compton scored his against some medium trundlers on a feather bed pitch. I daresay his shaky starts will be ever so exploited by pattinson, bird and starc. Cowan is a part of the most successful partnership by quite a distance, which is quite funny because with cook's quality you'd think that the other batsmen would be able to bat around him.. Cook's records against the accurate quicks is great too (Clark, mgcrath), I'm sure bird will have a bit of fun with him.

    Cowan is an intelligent cricketer, and unlike root, he has potential for captaincy. Obviously behind Clarke and Warner in stroke making, he has shown the ability to adapt and graft in a varied array of conditions. His stability is a necessary compliment to Warner and if we had khawaja at 3 with Hughes at 4, it would be a much better line up than one with Watson in it.

  • Simoc on March 20, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    It's a pity Cowan is a limited opening bat though ideal at present for Oz. Coach Arthur sees the chance to thrust his chest out but he is a limited fill in. He never says anything outside a politicians lines. He's not a cricketer, just playing the establishment for what it's worth and his payday. The worst selector to date for Oz.

  • Mary_786 on March 20, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    Cowan should focus on getting runs, after 17 tests he still hasn't sealed his spot as opener. And rather then tell on other team mates focus on getting his spot sealed in the team.

  • on March 20, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Ed Cowan, has scored more runs, than Mr Watson, at a better average, and has also copped 6 poor out decisions, during his short Test career. During the same time the only runs Watson has scored, are `Verbal Diarrhea`, when was Watson`s, last 50, let alone last Century. Front-Foot-Lunge, Watson, is either a plumb LBW, or caught First Slip candidate, in Country Cricket in Australia, all the Test playing nations have woke up to his weakness. He is a cross-batsman, slogger, great for shorter formats of the game, but not 4 or 5 day Cricket. Watson bats at 7, or does not play at all, if he cannot bowl. We have so many young orthodox batsmen, leaving Cricket, for Football codes in Australia, they get more money, and are disillusioned, why Cricket Australia persist with below average all-rounders. Mitchell Starc, is only a lad and will finish with a better Batting/ Bowling, average, than Watson, and he bats at 9 or 10 for Australia. He is an upright correct batsman, Laugh at my words?

  • on March 20, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    If Cowan wants to be captain (or a 'leader') maybe he should focus on keeping his batting average north of 30, rather than on whether:

    a) Pattinson's shirt is tucked and ironed b) Watson kept his appointment with the team physio over lesser priorities like his 9-month-ready-to-pop-two-weeks-early-pregnant wife c) Khawaja brought the water bottle onto the field in 30 seconds or less as per the KPIs set by management for reserve players d) If Johnson's witty retort to Arthur's "we need to bat better" analysis was within CA's code of conduct

    Leader within the team indeed.

  • on March 20, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: Ed Cowan's HS is 136 vs South Africa at Brisbane in December 2012.

  • on March 20, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    If he wants to be captain so badly, maybe he should focus on keeping his batting average north of 30, rather than on whether:

    a) Pattinson's shirt is tucked and ironed b) Khawaja filled in his 'Vitamins and Minerals Consumed Today' form c) Watson chose to speak to his 9 month pregnant wife or the team psychologist d) Johnson's witty retort to the coach's "we need to bat better" comment was within CA's code of conduct guidelines

    Leader within the group indeed.

  • on March 20, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    people say oh he is so well spoken, so intelligent, etc etc. Yeah well he'd better be, he's the worst opening bat I've seen for Australia in 40 years, he'd better be sure to talk himself up a storm, agree wholeheartdely with management decisions, etc, because he's got nowhere else to turn. I wouldn't even have him in my indoor team, he'd run out too many of my teammates, just have no clue what he's doing in the national side to be honest, just baffling.

  • bored_iam on March 20, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    @Pras_Punter: I kinda share the sentiment. I dont quite understand why this guy gets such a bad name consideering that he & Warner have been one of the few positives that the Aussies have had in the last few years. The Cowan-Warner partnership had a partnership average higher than even Strauss-Cook or Smith-Peterson and thats saying quite a bit! Hes faced the most balls this series of all the Aussie bats(more than Clarke) and he holds one end up. I agree he's a limited player but he certainly is a trier. And I genuinely believe this man's sanity shall help the group in the longer run.

    His ability to blunt the ball & see off the new ball will be particularly important the coming Ashes. And (Ill get a lot of comments against this but) I believe that for any kind of Ashes success this year the success of the fast bowlers, Michael Clarke & the Warner-Cowan partnership are going to be three most important factors from an Aussie perspective. There. I said it.

  • boston_pride on March 20, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    This guy plays a handful of matches... Does nothin of note, never won/saved a game, averages in the 30's, has a high opening stand only cos Warner scores so quickly and yet like a little kindergarden kid complains to the teacher about homeworks and discipline n stuff... And how exactly are they more united now?? Dude score some runs for christ sake before talking of leadership and legacy

  • Dazako on March 20, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    @Anwar-Lara Cowan is 2nd highest run scorer for Aussies on this tour behind only Clarke

  • Barnesy4444 on March 20, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Test opening batsman are required to make centuries. Getting starts and throwing your wicket away is well, poor batting.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 20, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    The fact that Cowan is even in the side is a clear indication of just how rubbish this Australia side is - does he even have a test 100 to his name? Australia need their own Alistair Cook, and fast, but that's impossible to find down under at the moment given that the cupboard is empty.

  • Anwar-Lara on March 20, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    and how about scoring some runs Mr Cowan ????

  • Anwar-Lara on March 20, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    and how about scoring some runs Mr Cowan ????

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 20, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    The fact that Cowan is even in the side is a clear indication of just how rubbish this Australia side is - does he even have a test 100 to his name? Australia need their own Alistair Cook, and fast, but that's impossible to find down under at the moment given that the cupboard is empty.

  • Barnesy4444 on March 20, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Test opening batsman are required to make centuries. Getting starts and throwing your wicket away is well, poor batting.

  • Dazako on March 20, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    @Anwar-Lara Cowan is 2nd highest run scorer for Aussies on this tour behind only Clarke

  • boston_pride on March 20, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    This guy plays a handful of matches... Does nothin of note, never won/saved a game, averages in the 30's, has a high opening stand only cos Warner scores so quickly and yet like a little kindergarden kid complains to the teacher about homeworks and discipline n stuff... And how exactly are they more united now?? Dude score some runs for christ sake before talking of leadership and legacy

  • bored_iam on March 20, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    @Pras_Punter: I kinda share the sentiment. I dont quite understand why this guy gets such a bad name consideering that he & Warner have been one of the few positives that the Aussies have had in the last few years. The Cowan-Warner partnership had a partnership average higher than even Strauss-Cook or Smith-Peterson and thats saying quite a bit! Hes faced the most balls this series of all the Aussie bats(more than Clarke) and he holds one end up. I agree he's a limited player but he certainly is a trier. And I genuinely believe this man's sanity shall help the group in the longer run.

    His ability to blunt the ball & see off the new ball will be particularly important the coming Ashes. And (Ill get a lot of comments against this but) I believe that for any kind of Ashes success this year the success of the fast bowlers, Michael Clarke & the Warner-Cowan partnership are going to be three most important factors from an Aussie perspective. There. I said it.

  • on March 20, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    people say oh he is so well spoken, so intelligent, etc etc. Yeah well he'd better be, he's the worst opening bat I've seen for Australia in 40 years, he'd better be sure to talk himself up a storm, agree wholeheartdely with management decisions, etc, because he's got nowhere else to turn. I wouldn't even have him in my indoor team, he'd run out too many of my teammates, just have no clue what he's doing in the national side to be honest, just baffling.

  • on March 20, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    If he wants to be captain so badly, maybe he should focus on keeping his batting average north of 30, rather than on whether:

    a) Pattinson's shirt is tucked and ironed b) Khawaja filled in his 'Vitamins and Minerals Consumed Today' form c) Watson chose to speak to his 9 month pregnant wife or the team psychologist d) Johnson's witty retort to the coach's "we need to bat better" comment was within CA's code of conduct guidelines

    Leader within the group indeed.

  • on March 20, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: Ed Cowan's HS is 136 vs South Africa at Brisbane in December 2012.

  • on March 20, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    If Cowan wants to be captain (or a 'leader') maybe he should focus on keeping his batting average north of 30, rather than on whether:

    a) Pattinson's shirt is tucked and ironed b) Watson kept his appointment with the team physio over lesser priorities like his 9-month-ready-to-pop-two-weeks-early-pregnant wife c) Khawaja brought the water bottle onto the field in 30 seconds or less as per the KPIs set by management for reserve players d) If Johnson's witty retort to Arthur's "we need to bat better" analysis was within CA's code of conduct

    Leader within the team indeed.