Tasmania's opening batsman Ed Cowan said he is ready for the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) Boxing Day after smashing a century against India in a warm-up game at the Manuka Oval here Tuesday.
The 29-year-old has made four hundreds this summer and scored 109 in Chairman's XI 215 for seven on day two, in response to India's total of 269. He was faultless against India and had also struck 145 against New Zealand playing for Australia A last month. He has also a heavy first-class average of 54.12 this year.
Cowan's place in the side depends on Shane Watson's fitness while Australian coach Mickey Arthur hinted that he prefers Dan Christian as an addition to the batting line-up.
"The biggest challenge is being able to make the game a bat on ball contest and block out 90,000 people and the occasion of having grown up watching Boxing Day, the ritual which is so very Australian," Cowan was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.
"That would be the biggest challenge. I would be very confident about the batting stuff but you don't know until you try it."
Cowan admitted his tons against New Zealand and India on batting friendly Allan Border Field and Manuka, have given him invaluable self-belief.
"As a state cricketer that's the pinnacle, to see international superstars to play against them and to benchmark yourself against them. To be able to score some runs has been a big confidence boost to know you're not that far off the running," he said.