His four hundreds for the summer had nothing to do with it, Cowan was scheduled to fly into Melbourne for day one at the MCG for his best mate’s bucks party.
However, thanks to two fruitful seasons for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield, the left-hander has earned the right to open the batting for Australia rather than sip beer with his buddies in Bay 13.
“Unfortunately I had to put the bucks day on hold but they’ll still be there probably with a banner saying, ‘Cowan was meant to sit here’ or something ridiculous like that,” said Cowan at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday, fresh from his 109 against India the day before for the Chairman’s XI.
Cowan is a journeyman of the Australian game who became so imbedded in the life of being a toiling domestic cricketer, he wrote a book about it.
He was in and out of the NSW side since he made his first-class debut back in 2003, but a brave move to Tasmania in 2009 proved the making of the 29-year-old.
Cowan has made centuries when it’s counted against the touring New Zealanders and his best yet against India, as well as two for the Tigers in the Shield.
But the man himself knows his recent form is only the tip of the iceberg for the work he’s put in.
“I’ve gotten nine first class hundreds the last two- and-a-half years so it’s not four hundreds in four weeks and all of a sudden you’re in the Test team. It’s two-and-a-half years of trying to dominate state cricket,” he said.
Cowan was at dinner in Canberra with his godparents when he found out he was in the Test team and came back to the table with “the hairs on my arms standing up.”
“It’s cliched, but you dream of it as a kid to play in a Boxing Day Test,” said Cowan, who described the late Peter Roebuck as one of his mentors.
“But after that brief moment of reflection you want to be contributing to the team.
“John Inverarity popped up on my phone so I thought, ‘gee I better answer that one.’
“(The selectors) laid out that challenge of scoring hundreds and I said, ‘my job is to make your job as hard as possible,’ and they said ‘we look forward to you doing that,’ so it’s been really positive.”