Ed Cowan was not, and never will be, an average cricketer. A writer and a bookworm, for him submitting an assignment before deadline would have been just a mundane task finished in a jiffy.
So, it was not surprising that the Australia opener not only managed to turn in his assignment on time but also implemented it on Day Two of the third Test at the PCA stadium.
Cowan (86), along with David Warner (71), gave the visitors a solid platform, stitching 139 runs for the first time in the series. Though the visitors failed to build on the start, but for the first time, the opener looked in control.
He had said last week that he had re-analysed his approach to the game. And, referring to the homework, the opener added that he had made a commitment to coach Mickey Arthur to bat as long as possible.
"My plans have come a full circle. Coming over here before the series, I had in mind that I need to put pressure on the spinners by attacking them. I made a mistake in Chennai. Now, the plan is to fight and grind them out, even if it gets all day to get a 50. But my job is to bat long and stay there. It's about putting pressure on them by not getting out," Cowan said.
The opener, however, refused to elaborate on the assignment saying that facts and figures are between him and the coach. "What I said to Mickey was that I wanted to bat long period of time and also put a figure on that. I also wanted to be held responsible for a few others things, but again that is between me and the coach. My personal accountability is to bat a long time," he said.
Cowan also had a bit of luck going his way on Friday but failed to capitalise on the opportunities. He was dropped twice, first by Virat Kohli when the left-hander was on 64, and later by Cheteshwar Pujara on 86 at silly point. The fact was not lost on him.
"I would say that you need some luck to get some runs in these conditions. Half a mistake and you are back in the changing room. It's great challenging conditions and you have to be in the game every ball. I succeeded in implementing the plan but not as long as I would have liked."