Kevin Shine insists fast bowler will be ready for Ashes October 29, 2006

Coach hails Harmison as the world's best

Cricinfo staff

Shine hailed Harmison as 'the best bowler in the world' © Getty Images

Kevin Shine, the England bowling coach, has called Steve Harmison a world-beater following concerns that the England fast bowler won't be in peak form for the Ashes.

"I'm completely confident that come the first Test in Australia, Steve will perform. He's the best bowler in the world," Shine told the Mail on Sunday. "On form, he's a frightening proposition. Test match cricket is completely different from one-day cricket."

Harmison was dropped for England's final Champions Trophy group match yesterday - which they won - in place of Jon Lewis. In his column at the Sunday Mail Harmison revealed he wasn't told of the management's decision to replace him but insisted that, despite concerns over his form, he will be ready for the first Test against Australia in three weeks.

In eight one-dayers this year he took 14 wickets at 30.21, but conceded nearly six-runs-per over. However, his fluctuating form - particularly in one-dayers - is of no concern to Shine looking ahead to Australia.

"I know how much Steve is looking forward to the Ashes," Shine said. "Harmison bowls at 90mph. We need to look after him. He's a proven, nailed-on match winner. When you get fast bowlers like that, you've got to look after them."