I'm not just talking about a lack of quality opening replacements; it's batting replacements in general. In fact most of the blokes on the fringes of selection are openers anyway. Unless they want to pick Cosgrove - and they don't - then I don't think there's anyone around who actually would do a better job than Cowan at the moment, especially looking forward to the Ashes. I don't think even think he's going to be Australia's worst batsman in that series, assuming he does play.
I don't think he's a long-term prospect either or even really a Test standard batsman in the short to medium term; he'll eventually be dropped with a 25-35 average and that's rubbish, but I just have no faith in the realistic alternatives at the moment. If I was picking the team I'd rather have Cosgrove or even Rogers playing but they aren't on the radar at all.