Two hundred years from now, Ed Cowan will be recalled as the game’s greatest batsman, ahead of everyone else. That’s if all video tapes of his batting ceases to exist and only the written text remained. Ed Cowan is the epitome of Conflict of Interest syndrome as being the game’s best active batsman-writer. He is his own critique!
He is a regular guy – un-Australian in every way – slightly round, slow between the wickets and a boring batsman who yells “no run” every time he puts bat to ball. And he is a writer on top of all this.
Cowan made all of 14 when the stumps were drawn for lunch. Healy on the Channel 9 box was fast asleep and called him the greatest bore in the history of all Boxing Day tests. Cowan sat by a serving of pasta, and readied his headline for the next day. It read Greatest Boxing Day Debut Ever. Then he went out to bat again.
He left deliveries on length, on line, on bounce, on angle, on just about anything. He ran between the wickets at the speed of a Laxman. In between all that he played a couple of strokes when he was bored. In Cowan’s words, he wrote of it himself thus:
It was the most assured performance of a debutante in front of a Boxing Day crowd of over 70,000 people. Finally an Australian batsman played the first session of a Test as it ought to be played in over 25 years. He got his foot to the pitch of the ball while driving – once he got his foot so far down he was able to convert a Umesh Yadav bouncer into a full toss – and bent his knees and elbows at right angles giving Euclid and Pythogoras cricket’s equivalent of the right angle on a platter. His concentration was unflappable – even when Yadav said “you are gonna get out by I am”, he barely bothered to correct his language – and technique tighter than skin-tight pants
Even the legendary statistician Mohandas Menon was impressed as Cowan gave him mind numbing numbers to crunch. He noted that Cowan tapped his bat on the ground a record 1921 times, 300 more than Alastair Cook during his marathon knock of 293 earlier in the year. Menon also noted the symmetry in Cowan’s batting. He said:
Cowan is a statistician’s delight. Symmetry to his batting is poetic. He gets down on one knee to drive and makes the perfect angle with his body and ground. He makes a perfect rhobus with his lower body and his knees and elbows bend in perfect right angles. He has given Test cricket its most perfect cover drives in history. A perfect cover-drive will henceforth be known as a Cowan Drive.
Having revolutionized cricket with its most perfect drives ever, Cowan is all set to become the first person to compose his article whilst batting during the second innings. You will see Cowan write and re-write his piece waiting for the right words to form the perfect Cowan Drive. Channel 9 will set-up a panel to debate Cowan’s claims to be the greatest player-writers of the modern game.
Cowan was unavailable to comment on the matter as he is busy writing his autobiography that is to be released at the end of the first Test.