Ed Cowan
Ed Cowan

Opening batsman Ed Cowan is excited about being part of a new-look Australian Test team.

Mike Hussey's decision to retire from international cricket came as a surprise to his team-mates, who are still adjusting to life after Ricky Ponting.

While Cowan admitted it's going to be extremely difficult to fill the void left by both Ponting and Hussey - who will bow out of international cricket after the third Test with Sri Lanka, starting Thursday - the 30-year-old is looking forward to seeing how the team move forward.

"You can say what a hole it (Hussey's departure) leaves, that's pretty obvious," Cowan said on Tuesday.

"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.

"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."

Cowan has been earmarked as a potential leader in the team, however he believes the load should be shared right across the team.

"I think in the Australian cricket team it's important to have multiple leaders and not just guys who are captaincy material," Cowan said.

"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."

The Australians earned a longer break before the Test in Sydney by defeating the Sri Lankans in Melbourne well inside three days.

Cowan said they are focused on completing a whitewash victory over Sri Lanka, which would be the perfect send-off for Hussey.

"We have spoken at some length about our determination to make sure we win this series 3-0," he said.

"We experienced some disappointment earlier in the season and this is us, I guess, trying to vent that a little bit and we're pretty keen to see Mike off with flying colours."

Cowan said he has 'assumed' captain Michael Clarke will be fit to play after he got through a lengthy fitness test on Tuesday.


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