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Cowan responds to Chappell snub
AAP and WWOS staff
07:30 AEST Tue Dec 11 2012

Opening batsman Ed Cowan has hit out at Ian Chappell after the former Australia captain snubbed the 30-year-old Tasmanian when compiling his ideal Test line-up.

Cowan didn't rate a mention in a preferred Test side put together by Chappell in a weekend newspaper column despite a breakthrough century and a knock of 53 in five innings against the world No1 South Africans.

“I’m surprised to hear Ian Chappell doesn’t want me in the team,” Cowan said sarcastically.

"I can only worry about what I'm doing and I feel as though I'm contributing," he told reporters.

Meanwhile the man Cowan replaced last summer, Phil Hughes, is back in form and back in the team to take on Sri Lanka in the first Test at Bellerive from Friday.

But the 30-year-old Tasmanian isn't looking over his shoulder.

"I can only worry about what I'm doing and I feel as though I'm contributing," he told reporters on Monday.

"I feel as though I've got more to give.

"Compared to India last year, which I felt was the baseline moving forward, I feel as though (South Africa's) now the baseline moving forward.

"Two innings of some significance out of five, I reckon that's a pretty good strike rate."

Chappell nominated Warner and allrounder Shane Watson, who is expected to bat at four, as his opening pair in a fantasy team that included Hughes at No3 and NSW allrounder Moises Henriques at six.

The Nine Network and News Ltd commentator said the Australian side had too many openers in its top six.

Hughes became the fourth regular opener to be included in the Test side when he was named to replace retired champion Ricky Ponting.

Cowan said he expected the 24-year-old would bat at No.3 and his fledgling pairing with powder-keg Warner could continue to develop.

"I'm confident I can do the job, I'm confident that Davey can do the job," Cowan said.

"I'm confident that Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey can do the job."

His six-and-a-half-hour knock of 136 against a Dale Steyn-led attack at the Gabba went a long way to making the Proteas wait two more Tests to claim a hard fought 1-0 series win.

And it went a long way to making Cowan feel he belonged in the Test arena.

"I needed it, I felt like I delivered when I needed it," he said.

"To be able to do that gives me more confidence than the runs themselves."

"It felt like by the end of the series I was an improved batsman because of it.

"It's more little baby steps to bigger things."

The Hobart Test will be Cowan's first on his adopted home ground and comes almost a year after he debuted for Australia following a mountain of runs in the Sheffield Shield.

He said opening the batting in Tests had been tougher than he'd expected.

"It's easy to sit back on the couch and think I could do a better job than this bloke or I could do a better job than that bloke," he said.

"But the day-in day-out pressure and dealing with that, let alone the actual cricket side of things, it's been a huge learning experience."