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    Debutant Cowan's fitness under cloud

    Melbourne: Australia are hopeful that debutant opener Ed Cowan will take the field on the third day of the first Test against India on Wednesday after receiving treatment for a sore back.

    Cowan, who scored 68 to be Australia's top-scorer in the first innings, was on and off the field on Tuesday and spent much of the second day with team physio Alex Kountouris. He was replaced by substitute fielder Dan Christian for most of the day.

    The southpaw batted for three hours on the first day but teammate Brad Haddin revealed that wasn't the reason for the injury. The vice-captain said that Cowan had been a little over-enthusiastic in his warm-ups on the second morning.

    "Ed got a bit excited in the warm-up in his first Test, he was diving around too much. He twinged his back. Alex worked on him through the day and he came back all right on the field," said Haddin.

    India were 214-3 at stumps on Day 2 in reply to Australia's first-innings total of 333, after a 117-run partnership between Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid put India in command.