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Dec 21, 2011 at 11:56am IST

It felt like a free hit for me: Cowan

Canberra: Set to make his Test debut against India, Australian batsman Ed Cowan on Wednesday said he didn't feel nervous facing their bowlers during a practice match here and is wondering how the visitors would cope if their injury-prone pacers break down at the same time.

Cowan, who hit 109 against the Indians in a drawn practice match here, was drafted into the Australian squad for the opening Test starting on Monday in Melbourne.

"I told a friend on the phone it was probably the least nervous I've been all season. It felt like a free hit for me, that's probably the best I've played all season. I think from ball one, I don't think I played a bad shot," Cowan said.

It felt like a free hit for me: Cowan

Cowan said he wasn't nervous facing the Indian bowlers during the practice game at Canberra.

Cowan said he is thinking how the Indians would manage if Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, both injury-prone, were to break down in the middle of the Test.

"Zaheer is a great competitor on the world stage. I don't know how fit Sharma is going to be but it's a risk if both him and Zaheer are in the team and both break down - so I'm sure they're aware of that as well," said Cowan.

There's been a question mark over Zaheer and Ishant in recent days but the fears were allayed to an extent when both shared the new ball in the second innings of Chairman's XI at the Manuka Oval.

"As for their spinners, they are very consistent bowlers but Australian conditions are very different to Indian and I'm sure our batters are really looking forward to being able to bat some time and hopefully score some big runs."

Cowan looked forward to interacting with Mike Hussey, whose career has been a lot like him.

"He's bit of an inspiration for me. At the time I met him I was 27-28 and he didn't play Test cricket until he was 30, so from afar, he's certainly been inspirational," said Cowan.

The left-hander, who earlier played for New South Wales, said he came to know about his selection last night.

"John Inverarity popped up on my phone so I thought gee I better answer that one, I've been on the other side of the coin a few times when the chairman of selectors of various teams have called and you don't want to answer the phone so this time I thought it was going to be a positive outcome," he said.

"Instant reaction was shock, the hair on your arms stand up and it doesn't quite sink in, and it still hasnt' sunken in, it was a bit of a sleepless night last night but hopefully once I meet up with the team and get into a bit of a routine it will settle the nerves a little bit.

"I found out last night when I was at dinner with my god parents, so it was nice to have basically a second family with me at the moment the call came through so that was a really nice moment to have two people there that have been a big influence on my life it was a really nice moment.

"I excused myself from the table and I think they knew when I walked back into the room. I don't think words were really needed so they were pretty excited," Cowan said.

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