Cricket - Cowan sees exciting challenges ahead

Australian cricket may be shaping up for a new era, but the players who are part of it are looking forward instead of back.

PA Sport
Cricket - Cowan sees exciting challenges ahead
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Ed Cowan is confident Australia 'have a real crack with a new group' of players regardless of current events

With Ricky Ponting, regarded as one of the best of all time, retiring at the end of last year, and the granite-like Mike Hussey bowing out after the forthcoming third Test with Sri Lanka, change is inevitable for the Baggy Green. The duo are not the first to step down, though, with the Australian team having got used to losing key players over recent years.

And opener Ed Cowan, hardly a veteran despite his 30 years, said: "It's an opportunity for this team to move forward how they want to - be shaped not by the past, but have a real crack with a new group, shaping a new Australian cricket team. That's exciting. That has to be exciting - if we don't think it's exciting then we've got an issue."

He added: "You can say what a hole it (Hussey's departure) leaves, that's pretty obvious.

"He is a phenomenal player, he's still playing as well as he ever has, so sure it's going to leave a hole. But the other side is that it's opportunity."

In fact, once Hussey has gone, only all-rounder Shane Watson and captain Michael Clarke will remain as truly established names for Australia, who have an unassailable 2-0 lead heading into the final Test.

Clarke has shone since taking over from Ponting - his batting is better than ever - and much will rest on him heading into back-to-back Ashes series.

Cowan, though, wants to see things shared around, and he said: "I think in the Australian cricket team it's important to have multiple leaders and not just guys who are captaincy material.

"It's important we've seen people like Ponting and Hussey and those kind of guys set standards around training, around how the team behaves on and off the field.

"You need some guys to step up into those responsibilities, so it's nice to be mentioned but I don't think that changes anything about how I try and contribute to the group."

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