Sounding a warning, Australian opener Edward Cowan said on Sunday that they have enough batting firepower to blunt the Indian spinners in the upcoming four-Test series, beginning February 22.
India have three frontline spinners, including R Aswhin, Pragyan Ojha and comeback-man Harbhajan Singh, in the squad to counter the Australian batsmen.
“By the time the first Test rolls, we’ll be prepared. We’ve seen Ashwin in Australia and we watched a lot of the India-England series so we’re pretty comfortable with our plans to counter their skills. They’re very skillful bowlers in these conditions and they will be a major part of India trying to win the series but we’re confident that we can blunt them and attack them,” Cowan said.
The 30-year-old left-handed batsman said the lesson they have learnt by watching India-England games is that the key to overpower Indian spinners was to attack them.
“What’s really important is to put pressure on them. We saw in the England series that when they settled in they were able to dictate terms but the guys who did well against them looked to attack them and we’ll look to do the same,” he said.
Cowan, who has played 13 Tests, said he himself fine-tuned his game to tackle spin challenge.
“We’ve had a little bit of a break from first class cricket back home so we’ve had 5-6 weeks off which have been a spin-intensive batting camp that I’ve held with my coaches looking for ways to improve my game against spin. I’ve tinkered with a few things and found some really good improvements that I look forward to putting into place.”
Cowan said retired Australian opener Matthew Hayden’s impressive record on Indian soil was an inspiration and he too is hopeful of scoring a lot of runs in the series.
“I think it’s hard not to be inspired by him for me and for any aspiring Australian cricketer coming through international cricket. The way he performed in 2001 was incredible,” he said.
“The way he found a way to put pressure on the Indian bowlers was brilliant. For him it was the sweep shot. I think it’s a question of finding your shot with which you can put pressure on the bowlers and having the courage and the confidence to stick to it.
“I’ve felt comfortable over the last 14 months and I’m looking to hopefully score heavily in the series,” he said.
Cowan also said that his opening partner David Warner will recover completely from his thumb injury before the Test series begins here on February 22.
“I am very confident Warner will be fit for the first Test. Obviously concerned as a friend and teammate that he hurt himself but from what I can gather it’s actually an opportunity for David to have a mental break from cricket. It has come at a nice time as there is so much cricket to be played with the Test series, IPL for him and the Ashes.”
Asked about his completely contrasting approach compared to Warner’s attacking game, Cowan said he will persist with that.
“I don’t think my plans would differ too much against the new ball. I think the most important thing here is if you get a start, you need to go on. So if you get in, make the most of it. I’ve obviously got specific plans for each bowler and I’ve been working really hard on away going spin.
I will look to hold fort but I’m at my best when I’m positive and I think I showed that against South Africa. I was playing well against the best attack in the world and I was looking to play on my terms. It depends on the situations and the conditions in which you bat,” he said.