Matthew Hayden's brutal batting in India was the making of him and Ed Cowan can't help being inspired at the powerful opener's ability to smash the aura surrounding the home side's spinners.
Twelve years on from Hayden's heroics, Cowan's averaging 32.81 in his 13-Test career and is hoping for similar breakthrough in the series that begins in Chennai on February 22.
The 30-year-old is determined to take an attacking mindset into the series and will fine-tune his approach to spin during the two-day game against an Indian Board President's XI starting on Tuesday at Chennai's Guru Nanak College Ground.
Former world record-holder Hayden ranks behind only Ricky Ponting, Allan Border and Steve Waugh among Australia's Test run-scorers.
But after 13 Tests his average was just 24.36. Hayden responded by monstering 549 runs at an average of 109.80 in the series in India.
The big left-hander lifted his average to 40.18 in the space of three matches.
"It would be hard (not to be impressed)," Cowan said of the legacy left by Hayden.
"Not just for me but for any aspiring Australian cricketer.
"The way he performed in 2001 was incredible. He was probably at a bit of a crossroads with his career.
"The way he found a way to put pressure on the Indian bowlers was brilliant.
"For him it was the sweep shot.
"For a few of our guys it might be the sweep. It might be a variety of other shots.
"It's a question of finding your shot that you can put pressure on the bowlers and having the courage and the confidence to stick to it."
Cowan has brushed off talk back home about Shane Watson returning to the opener's role at his expense and says the vice-captain is going to be a handful for India's bowlers wherever he bats in the top six.
While the Tasmania opener is confident he'll retain the opening role, he can relate to the way Hayden faced a fork in the road before his triumph in India.
"To a degree, yeah. You can take confidence from the fact that he became an all-time great," Cowan said.
"It shows it's hard work to start your international career. It doesn't matter how old you are.
"But I've felt comfortable right through the last 14 months and I'm looking to hopefully score heavily in this series.
"I'm playing my best when I'm positive. I showed that against South Africa two series ago when I was playing well against the best attack in the world (scoring 228 runs at 45.60)."