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India's bowling coach upbeat despite struggle

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 7, 2012

Comments: 142 | Text size: A | A

Zaheer Khan stretched during practice, Ahmedabad, November 12, 2012
Zaheer Khan has not been able to strike regularly in the Tests against England © Associated Press
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Series/Tournaments: England tour of India
Teams: India

India's bowling coach Joe Dawes believes the group is on the right track, despite its ineffectiveness in the ongoing Kolkata Test against England, and is hopeful of building a "big pool to choose from" in the future. Dawes also said Zaheer Khan has the "best wrist in cricket" and was among the top six bowlers in international cricket.

The BCCI appointed Dawes, who is from Queensland, as bowling coach in February, during India's 0-4 Test defeat in Australia. India began their home season by beating New Zealand 2-0, but they have struggled against England. Alastair Cook's team scored 406 in the second innings in Ahmedabad, 413 in the first innings of their ten-wicket win in Mumbai, and are currently amassing a huge first-innings score in Kolkata.

"I've been in this job nine months and it's been challenging. I believe that we're making progress, although the results in this series say otherwise," Dawes told "I've spoken to the new selection committee about identifying a number of bowlers who we can invest on. This morning we sat down and made a rough list of bowlers for the T20s and ODIs to get things in place for them so that when they get into the team they're ready. We have a close eye on the Ranji Trophy to look out for the guys who put their hands up so we can have a few more bowlers.

"We've spoken a lot about patience as a group. The two spinners [R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha] are quite young - they've only played a dozen Tests or so - and they're still learning their craft at the moment. That's why they have struggled with their consistency and we have talked about that. They're gaining good education of the game at the moment and they're working hard at their game. We're improving and getting to where we want to be."

While India's spinners have not been effective against England after the first Test, their fast bowlers also struggled. India lost Umesh Yadav to a back injury after Ahmedabad and Varun Aaron, Sreesanth, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan are among the reserves injured. Zaheer, the leader of India's attack, has taken only three wickets at an average of more than 60. Dawes, however, remained confident of Zaheer's form and fitness.

"We've had this joke going around in the change room that Zak's back. I thought he wasn't at his best against New Zealand and he'll be the first to admit that. But he's gone back and worked hard. He's run himself into a bit of nick with his fitness and has started to get the ball through with some pace and get it to nip back. I truly believe that the time is not far away when he starts getting the wickets that he deserves.

"You watch the ball come out of his hand from purely technical point of view and it's just beautiful. He keeps the seam up and hits the seam all the time, every time. He's not as young as he once was and so he's probably not as quick as well. Considering the conditions he has to bowl in most of the times, in the subcontinent, he's got to be among the top six bowlers in the world today."

Having played three specialist spinners in the Mumbai Test, India reverted to the two-seamer strategy for Kolkata and picked Ishant Sharma, who hadn't played international cricket since January. "He [Ishant] bowled in a Test match today after a long time and I thought he did pretty well. He was unlucky not to get a wicket," Dawes said after the first day in Kolkata. "He has worked hard to come back from his injury and you can see the changes in his action. He's much taller now and doesn't fall over while angling the ball in. The next step is to give him a consistent outswinger and that's coming well.

"The plus with him is that he's still a very young man and he's already played 45 Test matches; he's an experienced cricketer. He's now only 24 and his body will learn to endure the rigours of fast bowling with time and he'll only get better from here."

Umesh was the best fast bowler on show in Ahmedabad, bowling quick and getting the old ball to swing, and Dawes was pleased with the progress Umesh had made since the New Zealand series. "I'm happy with where he's going; disappointing for him to be injured but we have things in mind to put in place for him when he comes back; just tweak his action a little bit more and continue to help the young bloke get stronger and fitter."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

I think this article has been pulled out of archives...Zak - best bowler? what a joke!!!! and to top it all - Zak gets dropped from the final test :). I think they should change the Indian bowling coach

Posted by The_Manimal on (December 10, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Zak was a good asset to the side in the past, but his woeful lack of fitness, fielding ability and wickets makes him a liability in today's day and age, particularly when you see the physical ability and performance of the Aussie and SA bowlers. The benchmark has to be higher, and on current form and fitness, only Umesh Yadav looks the part. I would give Ishant some grace since he is returning from injury, however he needs to start improving his average of a wicket every 38 runs in Test cricket.

I see the utility of Fletcher and Dawson only till the end of Fletcher's contract. I would think an Indian coaching staff would be brought in - people like Roger Binny, Kapil Dev, Praveen Amre, etc. would be good coaches, I would reckon.

Posted by Thomas_George on (December 10, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

Why is everyone complaining about dearth of fast bowlers? We do not encourage sports or physical activity in our education. Today, everyone knows that even a partially successful cricketer will have no financial insecurity. So, the Board has certainly succeeded in making cricket a viable career option to invest time and effort. Administrators and former players cannot train or play now, youngsters should.

Posted by landl47 on (December 9, 2012, 21:31 GMT)

Clearly the selectors didn't read this article before they dropped Zaheer, unless perhaps they think the Ishant, Awana and Dinda are in the top 5 in the world.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

Joe Dawes, a 41-year-old Queenslander, joined the force well before he had taken a wicket for his state, handling situations far more important than getting bowlers to bowl lengths that suit their style of bowling. He was a policeman by 21, a first-class cricketer only after 27, and both for about four years.

"Armed robberies. Drugs squad. Child abuse. Worked in a lot of areas where we were able to sort of help a lot of people, and it was a good job," Dawes says. "Very rewarding. I enjoyed it. You learn a lot about life. You learn how to communicate with people, and deal with the good and bad of society. It was a great life experience, I suppose."

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

Looks like Joe Dawes and the Indian selectors have found 4 other bowlers ahead of Zaheer in the world Top 6 list. It is sad that a bowler who is among the Top 6 in world cricket can't find a place in Indian cricket . But that is what you get when you have an embarrassment of bowling riches. This is what the fifth and sixth ranked West Indian pacers of the 80s must have felt like at being excluded by Marshall, Holding, Garner, etc.

Posted by Dhanno on (December 9, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

we have some amazing fast bowlers. we just dumped the #6 guy in world ranking ( unofficial, joe davis ranking) to bring in Awana ! Cmon India.

Posted by mcs81 on (December 9, 2012, 10:22 GMT)

One among the top 6 bowlers dropped from the Indian side!!! And BTW, who is this Joe Dawes?

Posted by gautm on (December 9, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

Zaheer a top 6 bowler on Dec 7... Zaheer dropped from Indian team on Dec 9... What a contrast !!! Wish these foreign import coaches start calling spade a spade instead of sugarcoating their answers. Zaheer losing his mojo was an open secret - his fielding has always been a liability and while batting he has hardly shown any fight or spine.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

May be he is using some database which is quiet old :P

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

Top 6 bowlers, what a joke. Morkel, Steyn, Philander, Anderson, Finn, Starc, Pattinson Siddle, even Johnson and Hilfenhaus are better.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (December 9, 2012, 5:49 GMT)

yep, very good progress indeed. Earlier we used to not take 20 wickets away from home, now we can't get that home too.

Posted by ultimatewarrior on (December 8, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

Wake up Joe Dawes its 2012 and you have slept for almost 3-4 years to say Zaheer is a world class bowler let alone the Top6.....

Posted by Peter_Walters on (December 8, 2012, 18:59 GMT)

"India bowlers making progress ". I agree with the statement after Ashwin's knock.

Posted by Tlotoxl on (December 8, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

"he's got to be among the top six bowlers in the world today." 5 years ago, yes. now? LOL!!!!!

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

I don't agree with the arguments of mr, Dawes . He is only trying to keep his job and trying to post a rosy picture. Actually, he has achieved nothing

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

It is sad that we dont have one match winning bowler at the moment. It is time we realise the value of Kapil Dev, Kumble, Harbajan(between 1999 - 2005) and Srinath.. Ashwin and Ojha cant be termed as world class bowlers as they have tasted success against weaker batting line ups. Biggest joke of this year is this statement made by Joe Dawes stating that Zaheer is in the top 6 bowlers list. I know Zak is the best indian pacer at the moment but way way below other opposition bowlers. Really we keep asking this million dollar question to ourself for decades. Why are we failing in the process to develop and nurture young fast bowlers?????????????????????????

Posted by eng_mdkhan on (December 8, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

ZAK is in his twilight and Ishant Sharma is a waste. I do agree that the pitches do not have much on offer but what stops them from reversing the ball in air or atleast learn the art of doing so. I do not know for what special purposes outside of the game our Indian bowlers are holding back so much so that we are lucky to find a bloke who can clock 140 kph regularly. Someone rightly stated not too long ago that MRF pace academy should be renamed MRF medium pace academy and that it was specifically set up to destroy prospective India fast bowlers. Moreover, why does not BCCI hire former greats from across the border? This is a no brainer for me and really begs the credibility of people running the BCCI. Let us not forget to mention the inability to find genuine fast bowlers from a population of billions, now that is a real no brainer....if only BCCI were to select players on merit.

Posted by CandidIndian on (December 8, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

I think he was trying to crack a joke, obviously BCCI officials didnt get it and took this seriously.We would like to know who are those 7-8 fast bowlers?Zak was good 3-4 years back not now, Yadav is certainly good and Dinda is promising,who are rest six?is there any plan to import bowlers then its a different story.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

India potentially has THE best team in the world.

We have the best openers in Sehwag and Gambhir already and the best middle order in the world with Sachin and Virat. A wicket keeper batsman who is arguably greater than Adam Gilchrist ever was (Dhoni) and an amazing test all rounder in Yuvraj (truly a prince becoming a king now). Our bowling attack is potentially the best in the world as well with Harbhajan the best spinner (please don't even mention clowns like Swann who are not worthy of even untying Bhajji's kaccha), Ashwin and Ojha. And some of the finest fast bowlers in Zack and Umesh.

Only in fielding are we lacking a bit. But with a young team I believe we have the talent to go all the way and be at least as good as Aus and SA, if not even better. I have the feeling that India is set to dominate the world of cricket for the next 15-20 years. Please look past the couple of blips that the team had in the series in Aus and Eng. Every team faces these from time to time.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (December 8, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

Zaheer Khan was a fine bowler at his peak but right now he wouldnt be in a Top 6 even if all the other bowlers were only from Bangladesh and Zimbabwe!! India doesn't need these sycophantic coaches who are just pampering to the egos of these mediocre, so called superstars but needs someone who can call a spade a spade. These are sportsmen ,not film stars and some of them badly need reality checks not meaningless ego boosts.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (December 8, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

What? Is this suppose to be a sarcastic joke?

Posted by rohan024 on (December 8, 2012, 6:28 GMT)

Zaheer in top 6? I am assuming Dinda and Ishant Sharma are in top 5

Posted by rajattiwaari on (December 8, 2012, 6:25 GMT)

I think Umesh and ishant are wonderful prospect for Ind's fast bowling. Ishant is not bowling well but he is a very good bowler.

Posted by Joby_George on (December 8, 2012, 5:13 GMT)

@Deepak Karnamkotil ....Completely agree with you. Sreenath was the best indian pacer

Posted by drdatla on (December 8, 2012, 4:50 GMT)

if what india's best fast bowler shows is 8 wkts in his last 6 tests,then we have to pity indian bowling lineup.among the best 6 in the world,what an ugly joke.

Posted by Chirs-Cry on (December 8, 2012, 3:31 GMT)

ZK in top 6 bowlers ? This shows that the standard of fast bowling is going downhill. Even if we believe that this is indeed the case we know that there is no bowler that can bowl 150+ regularly and can swing etc. the best era was 70's to 90's From Lillee to Khan, holding to Walsh to wasim and waqar. These are the bowlers you would call fast bowlers. Nowadays only a hand full of them are lethal but none of the modern pacer (none) can be compared to the bowlers of 70's-90's.

Posted by 777aditya on (December 8, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

@ Samar_Singh - I think you meant Srinath, Srikkanth was hardly a reliable batsman, let alone bowling. Totally understand your frustration with the current set of under-performing bowlers, but your criticism of Kumble, Srinath, and Kapil is highly unjustified. Agreed Bhajji is over the hill, but still has managed to grab 400 wickets. So, please leave the mindless criticism to aging dinosaurs - I hope you are not one!

Posted by landl47 on (December 8, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

Zaheer is a very good bowler, but he's 34 years old. Zaheer getting back to being India's number one seam bowler isn't progress, it's merely delaying the inevitable.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 3:02 GMT)

@sk abid hasan, do not compare Zaheer to Srinath and Kapil Dev, they were class apart, when it came to bowling, fitness, and effectiveness. Zaheer is just a burden that we're pulling now.

Posted by Ven61 on (December 8, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

Well, Zaheer will just about make it into the top six bowlers in India!!!

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 2:51 GMT)

Coaches should focus more what is current rather than past. Most of our players should be on history books rather than on field. I totally agree that some players have created huge public support. Both coaches as well as selectors do not have guts to not include them in the team.

Posted by sachin_and_others on (December 8, 2012, 2:47 GMT)

Once someone properly dissects the recent performences they would understand that it has only been in this home season that Zaheer is not up the the mark. He was quite fine with 15 wickets in Australia and he was exceptional until the 2011 WC. India drew level in South Africa after Zaheer returned to the side after their demoralizing thumping in the first test. He took 6 wickets in the match and scored valuable runs with the bat too rendering one of the finest wins overseas. Do you people even realize that Zaheer Khan was the man of the series the last time, England were here, in 2008. Way to go!

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 2:47 GMT)

Zaheer Khan among the top 6!!!!!!!!who are the other then???I think they have to be Ojha, Aswin, Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth n Munaf Patel.....I don't see any other 5 players who can come to the list

Posted by emmwill on (December 8, 2012, 2:19 GMT)

Is this bowling coach for real? India's bowling unit is among the worst in the world at the moment! AM i dreaming or what? smh

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 8, 2012, 2:06 GMT)

Indian Bowling Coach is absolutely right. We have seen how ineffective anderson and finn have been in subcontinent and they play here only rarely. I bet most of these fair weather bowlers wil stop playing cricket if they had to bowl on flat wickets throughout their careers like Indian Seamers do. But The Indian public is so impatient that they want miracles to happen on these wickets. I suggest you to buy a leather ball and just run and ball 50 in a row and try and swing at pace. Most of you will fail and get embarrased. If you can't appreciate the effort stop muttering nonsense

Posted by ahassan on (December 7, 2012, 23:44 GMT)

Joe Dawes is just trying to save his job by making such statements. Zaheer's overall bowling averages are about 32 runs per wickert and his last one year averages are more than 40 runs per wicket.This clearly shows that he is on the decline. All the present fast bowlers of England, Australia and South Africa have better figures than Zaheer. Other Test teams also have one or two pace bowlers with better figures than him. If you include spinners in the list of top test bowlers then Zaheer is far far behind. I think nobody in BCCI is naive enough to take Dawes' comments seriously.

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 7, 2012, 22:05 GMT)

"India's bowling is making progress", TRUE. But Indian Batting will never improve, and that's why they are using their own bowlers as scapegoat to mask their (IND batting) perpetual failures. A good batsman means who could play quality bowling.

Posted by SpartaArmy on (December 7, 2012, 21:36 GMT)

Some body needs to remind him that Bowling average is different from Batting average. What can this poor guy do, there should be talented resources available for any one to fine tune and improve the performance. All India has is celebrity players who train harder to dance on the stage with Sharukh than walk nimbly around the park. BCCI is also doing good job by squeezing as hard as possible to milk out any thing left in the most famous brand (used to be) called "Cricket" in India. If you take India and Pakistan out, Cricket will survive longer and remain PURE.

Posted by Jonathan_E on (December 7, 2012, 21:06 GMT)

Zaheer is not even in the top 26, right now, let alone the top 6. I don't think he's even the best fast bowler in India any more, and it's been a LONG time since he was world-class.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 7, 2012, 20:43 GMT)

It pains me to talk against a bowler of Zaheer's calibre. But he is a disgrace to the two words - fielding and fitness.

Posted by Dhanno on (December 7, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

sammy rampaul Best Roach edwards.. Then Zaheer..maybe this is what he meant..Hmm surely this is the answer..

Zaheer is in top six bowlers of world. Where the world is defined as: india-indie-west-indies squad in the WORLD of test cricket...

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 19:58 GMT)

Steyn, Morkel and Co would be tearing their hair out if they here what the Indian coach had just said about Zaheer

Posted by AB_DeVilliers on (December 7, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

Is Joe Barber serious? I reckon Ojha is a pretty darn good bowler, but the rest are just bog average at most. Zaheer is past his sell-by date, but with nobody really knocking on the door, the selectors have to persist with him and pay Joe Barber to talk him up. This bowling attack is the very reason why the scorecard for India on their away tours to AUS, SA and ENG over the past 2.5 years reads: WON 1; DRAW 1; LOST 9. Don't think I need to say anymore.

Posted by CupertinoCricket on (December 7, 2012, 19:40 GMT)

No Indian batsmen in the Top10! Tendulkar@#18, Pujara@#21 and Schwag @#27.

Only Ojha in Top 10 @5 position and ZAK is #14. If you remove all the spinners, ZAK is still #9.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

indian bowling is not better than even bangladesh .....look at their fast bowlers .... balaji , munaf, praveen ... they cant even bowl at 130 kmph .... they are only very very fast spin .....

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

dale steyn, philander, m.morkel, s.ajmal, siddle? where r these bowlers? the fact of the matter is that India sadly lack a "FAST" bowler!

Posted by RameshRayaprolu on (December 7, 2012, 19:18 GMT)

No need for ENG to work HARD they already have the series in their pocket !

Indian team are now letting down the legendary "Indian test cricket"...

Its true, after Srinath, none have consistently fact after Kumble, India has NO MORE bowlers, all the current bowlers are just DUMMY guys.

Forget seamers, I feel sorry to all our spinning LEGENDS, who used to roar like tigers at home pitches and the guest team was afraid of even facing them at home pitches...

Now everything is history, and India can never get back to their OLDIE GOLDIE status.....I hope Indian cricket will not see a stage like Indian Hockey !!!

Posted by xylo on (December 7, 2012, 19:15 GMT)

Zaheer is definitely one of the best bowlers, but then a bowler needs to have a very good partner on the other end to build up pressure and get wickets. Imagine how many wickets Wasim Akram would have got if he had to partner with Ishant Sharma.

Posted by CricketChat on (December 7, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

Can't find fault with the coach trying to save his job given the performance of the Ind bowlers. That Zaheer is pas his best should be clear to anyone following Ind cricket of late. Time to invest in next generation of pace bowlers.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

Well I won't agree that Zaheer Khan is among top 6 bowlers. However he is still good, not better than he was. If you guys watched the test match you realize that Zaheer produced a golden chance in the early part of match when cook did not past 50, the chance was dropped and cook went on to make 190. To some of you this may look minor thing, but in test cricket you only get one chance!. If that catch had been taken India would have been probably in different place right now. Not taking anything away from England team because they really have played well to be in commanding position. From here on I do not see how India can win this match unless they produce something extraordinary in both departments. In my opinion India should play for draw, if they draw this test match it will be a win for them and loose for England and that is what I love about test cricket. Good luck to both teams!

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 18:19 GMT)

Zaheer 'was' in top six 3 years back. But only for a few months. He was never a great strike bowler as some media men and commentators projected him to be. Just 10 five fers in 150 innings! That is very ordinary. He has not had a five wkt haul in the last 2 years, yet we say he is our spearhead in the bowling department. That just shows how empty our bowling pool is. Ishant is just a waste of time. Having played for the past 5 years in the Indian team he should have been at his peak of bowling prowess by now. Instead he has just fizzled out. Not one stand out performance in his whole career apart from his debut against Australia. Umesh is the only ray of hope from the new lot, but he too lacks consistency. It is high time the Indian fast bowling coach look for new faces or else the Indian team's ratings will move in the undesired direction. SOUTH.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (December 7, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

Sk Abid Hasan on (December 07 2012, 14:06 PM GMT) I would hope ZAK would be one of the top performing faster bowlers in the sub-continent as that is his home environment. He took 18 wickets in England at <21, very impressive, BUT that was 5 years ago so is not really relevant to being top 6 in the world now, which if he is then my wife must be too. I thought Sharma looked good at times in 2011 but lacked any consistency with line and length, he looked poor in this test. ZAK looks to me an old and weighty 34 and I would be suprised if he has too many tests left in him.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (December 7, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

Top 6 in regards to Age? On any day, no matter how flat the surface (and this surface really wasn't that flat), a "top 6 bowler" does not bowl for 2 days straight without getting a wicket

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 7, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

This guy needs to be fired immediately. I do not like sugar coating people. He is in here for money. So i would also say same thing if i am in his place. hahaha. That said he is not right person. India never hire right person because it is always about not telling the truth. Truth is india do not have bowlers even in state level because indian state cricket board selection policies are money based. if no commission they do not gona select player in the state team. You need to know some political big wig or related to big people. You need a god father to get in to state team , forget indian team. Pankaj singh waiting for years to play even a single ODI match. It kinda convoluted logic of selection policy in India. Every one knows parameter for fast bowler. 1. tall 2. Better bone structure (genes) 3. Meat diet. 4. Skill. 5. Gym routine. You need all 5 to be decent fast bowler.

Posted by MilroyL.S.A.Don on (December 7, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

India must adopt two teams for Tests and ODI's to save test cricket from "GENETICALLY MODIFIED" version of cricket - IPL.

Young talent disappear instantly followed by an IPL season. Modern day players are not looking for a long term careers, instead they set goals for few hundred thousand of $$$ risking their long term future.

There are smart players who succeeded and advance their careers playing short version but unfortunately this doesn't happen to every player. ICC must pay more money to poor Cricketers directly (since Asian cricket money disappear mysteriously).

This could be done investing more money for younger players and limit an age or based on intn'l appearances before they are eligible to play in IPL. The young players should be well preserved before they get exposed to T20's.

I am a fan of T20, BUT... I love to watch cricket is been played in white cloths, red ball, 5-7 close fielders around the batsman in real day light.

No more teenagers cementing careers any more.

Posted by CricFanKrish on (December 7, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

Well ... even if its fiction, finally we got to read something positive. Dawey, please continue. If you get to improve our bowling, great. Else, just give us some nice stories like this from time to time. It will give us something to cheer about.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 17:09 GMT)

I think Joe Dawes was meant to say Zaheer is in the list of worst 6 bowlers. This year he has played in 8 tests, 14 wickets best bowling figures of 3/82 @ an average of 51.92.

Posted by PrasPunter on (December 7, 2012, 17:09 GMT)

though an Aussie fan, as i have always done throughout this series, I root for England. Go Eng !! Give them what they deserve !!

Posted by SevereCritic on (December 7, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

Well, when you hit rock bottom, you can only go up. Indian bowling hit an all time low last year. It's like scoring a 1/100 and then a 2/100 in two exams and claiming to have doubled performance.

Posted by hayer on (December 7, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

Ishant was unlucky not to get a wicket!!!!! I am just sick of this word. Reality is that he is not a wicket taker. So I will consider him lucky to play India. We could have played Harbhajan instead of Ashwin. His record at Eden is very good and we all know that he is a fighter.

Posted by Narbavi on (December 7, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

@Samar_Singh: Even 10 year olds would laugh at your comment when you mentioned that Anil Kumble is not a legend, 619 wickets!! Count them!!

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 7, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

I dont know when was the last time zaheer took a five wicket haul in any format of the game. he is really an overrated bowler. after kapil they still haven't produced a quality fast bowler.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 16:41 GMT)

Steyn Morkel Philander Anderson Roach Siddle Pattinson Cummins Southee

are all better than Zaheer. That would place him in a David Letterman Top 10 list. Not too shabby.

Posted by SnowSnake on (December 7, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

Zhaeer should retire. It would be nice if international teams can hire bowlers from other countries. For example, since doug bollinger is not playing for Australia, he should be playing for India. Flexible contracts should be allowed in test cricket. This is the only way to make cricket interesting. Without quality players, tests in India are getting very boring.

Posted by YazeerArabath on (December 7, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

Steyn, philander, finn, starc, u.gul, m.morkel,

Posted by Sanawana on (December 7, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

India and Pakistan have the same pitches and the same conditions; We Pakistanis have produced some outstanding bowlers despite the poor conditions for bowling in the subcontinent while India produced some great batsmen. It's just a thought but why cant we have batting coach from India or India could have bowling coach from Pakistan? I know the politics behind but that's not helping anyone. If either of these countries take such an initiative, it will help soothe the years long tension on political front and also help in betterment of the teams.

Posted by ProdigyA on (December 7, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

Why do we keep going back to Ishant i dont understand. He has been tried and tested and given many opportunites. If he needs to develop or learn or experiment he needs to do that in domestic matches not intl matches. Though I like him, i think he is more like a machine who just keeps doing the same stuff again and again and not learning. Warne said about Monty that "he played the same test 21 times" something similar applies to Ishant as well.

Posted by cricket_lover1 on (December 7, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

Why not trying Harmeet singh from U19 team..he seems to be a very promising spinner..

Posted by Arijit_in_TO on (December 7, 2012, 16:03 GMT)

In Test cricket the formula has generally remained the same since the advent of the game: a team needs to take 20 wickets to have a chance of winning the game. All the other forms of cricket -- be they T20, ODI or a variation thereof-- gloss over this fact due to the element of containment being a bigger factor. The current Indian bowling lineup is making Cook look like Bradman --no offense to Cook, who is a vary fine batsmen-- and the lethal combination of uinspired bowling, insipid fielding, impatient batting and indifferent captaincy has made this series England's for the taking. In terms of coaching, there is a spectrum between Greg Chappel (disastrous blowhard) and Duncan Fletcher (the Invisible Man) that is the right fit for the team and John Wright and Gary Kirsten fit that mold.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 16:01 GMT)

Zaheer Khan one of the top six bowlers in the world? Once upon a time maybe, but right now I wouldn't put him in the top six in this SERIES!

Posted by Crickathon on (December 7, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

Brett Lee burst into the scene bowling 145+ & he pretty much kept above the 140+ levels all the way. Gillespie kept it up above 140s all through his career. Allan Donald kept bowling the same pace all his career. Even in the subcontinent, Waqar was bowling pretty much up there right till the end. I think this whole thing about 'not the same body','age is not with me' thing is just a blanket excuse for laziness to put in that extra bit of hard work required with increasing age.

Posted by silent_observer on (December 7, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

Coaches are intelligent blokes especially foreign ones. They come here and milk BCCI money. The only coach I respected was Gary Kirsten. He is a consistent performer and his teams improved under him. As far as our current Indian team? It is a big joke. Indian batsmen are suppose to be flat track bully that has not happened. They are suppose to be good players against spinners; well English spinners exposed them. We all wanted senior batsmen out of the team with great optimisnm that young turks will deliver we have seen the performance of who replaced them; except Pujara all have failed and I am not surprised. Yuvi was never a good player of spin and never will be and he lacks patience to play test match. Virat is excellent 1 day player but it is played on batsmen loaded pitches and rules, test match is a different ball game the look he gives when he gets out is hilarious. I do not see pride in playing for Indian team in the current players except for Sachin. Rest are out to make money.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

six is an odd number literally so I assume there are five bowlers in the moment better than him. I would ask who are those. At the moment Styn, Morkel, Philander, Pattinson, Anderson, Southee, Siiddle are all better fast bowler than him and I am leaving aside the spinners like Ajmall, Monty

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 15:47 GMT)

its nt the time to criticize our team, its time to back them n hv trust on their skill n commitment. our team is going through a transition phase n all the team around the world face this pblm sometime. i belive this team hs the guts to do well n i mean it. bt i also belive that our players need some motivation, they badly short of fighting spirit at this moment. i just wana say common india common you can do this.

Posted by jimbond on (December 7, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

Right now, among test playing nations, India have THE worst bowling attack. Even when Kumble was around and Zaheer was effective, India was worse than the top five test playing countries. It was Indian batting which carried it through even in those days (people like Sachin, Dravid, VVS and Gambhir for a while). Now VVS, Dravid and Kumble are gone, Sehwag and Zaheer are not half as good as they used to be, and Sachin has gone out of form. Every country must be wanting to visit India now. India's best hope is to fast upgrade some of the new batsmen, keep all its bowlers fit, and select them according to the pitches. Right now, India's best bowlers are Praveen Kumar and Yadav on Indian pitches, plus Irfan Pathan on helpful pitches.

Posted by DerikRambo on (December 7, 2012, 15:37 GMT)

@Sk Abid Hasan - Your talking about 2007, how successful has he been lately ? As Rahul Dravid once said he needs to concentrate on any 1 form of the game. There is no one to replace him at the moment. You get guys from the domestic circuit who have performed and throw them into international cricket and they struggle.

Kumble was the best option on the Mumbai pitch, he would run through the english batting. If someone can convince him to come out of retirement, then that would be great . :) We really need to stop blaming the batting all the while. Our bowling in this series has been pathetic, barring Ojha's performance in the 1st test. We need to produce bowlers of the caliber of the South Africans or Pakistanis to get back to No.1. Nonetheless ZAK doesnt even qualify in the playing 11 , top 6 thats a joke right.

Posted by roxap on (December 7, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

True ishant has played 45 test, but this bowling coach shud look at his bowling avg its 37, he must be the only fast bowler in the history of the game to play so many games with such below average record...this shows the quality of indian bowling resource available.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 15:04 GMT)

The bowling is great, the arms are coming down right yep only problem we are not getting wickets...

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

A few years back Zaheer was a very fine bowler but its laughable to suggest that he is now in the top 6 in the world.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

those who never played cricket at any level shouldnot criticise zak or ishant or anybody infact... zak is certainly not the same as he used to be but hes still indias premier fast bowler.. in the last five years if u look at the most successful pacer in subcontinent then zak would feature in the top3 along with umar gul and ne pak bowler not anderson or even dale steyn... n zak is the only indian fast bowler who has won us a test series abroad or in india not javagal srinath or kapil dev... 18 wickets in the 2007 series in england n rightly man of the series.. so shut up ppl

Posted by voice_of_reason on (December 7, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

I don't think it's worthwhile paying attention to anything an India coach says in public. If he criticises a player, he's unlikely to have a job the following week. That's one of the big problems with Indian cricket. The players wield all the power and the coaches have to bow down to them. I'll never forget when India toured here last year watching Trevor Penny run a simple fielding warm up drill prior to the start of the Trent Bridge Test. He was hitting out balls for the players to run across and pick up one handed and throw at a stump. They were only hit out gently but when "certain" players mis-fielded, Penny actually apologised to them for not hitting a decent feed, rather than getting them to sharpen up and field the ball cleanly. The coaches have too much to lose if they speak their minds so just say what the players want to hear.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

In the current set up, I dont see any player who is tuned to batting in Test matches. All the players we have except for Chateshwar Pujara, are so tuned to short format of the game, that they have pressure to play more like that(short format). Sachin is not that great atleast for now. Sehwag is not dependable. Gauti is unpredictable. Virat i believe is suited to shortened format. Yuvi is making a trying his best to come to terms.... Our Bowlers on the other hand are either aging fast or strugling in the pace department. Ashwin - to me - is still learning to bowl in Test matches and it will take a long time for him to become suitable. Ojha is classical legspin but people like him hardly last for a max 1-5 yrs. so where is the test team? Indian Cricket team is only a One day team.

Posted by aahahaa on (December 7, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

yes he is, in the age category.

Posted by balajeev on (December 7, 2012, 13:54 GMT)

India might be losing the series, but they are winning the propaganda battle.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

Javagal Srinath was the last Indian seamer who was actually a good bowler in the subcontinent. Zaheer is not near him at all, specially in the last 2 years. This is d best chance for England to repeat the 1984-85 series win over India. The Test series with Pakistan and SriLanka prior to this series has helped them in India. The inclusion of Panesar was the turning point and then Cook took over. India was always a batting side, bowling was never our strength, and now its letting Ind down. I wont be surprised if Eng take the series, they played it hard and r deserving it.

Posted by VickGower on (December 7, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

Truly surreal, this interview, and these comments by the bowling coach.I hope this disillusion is for public consumption only, otherwise India as a cricketing nation is doomed.

Posted by rohanbala on (December 7, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

Those who have watched Zaheer Khan bowling today, will not disagree with the fact that he is on the decline and it won't be long before he will quit playing test matches and play only limited overs cricket. Mr Dawes seems to please his bosses by saying rosy things about his wards.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 7, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

What a joke to hear that Zaheer Khan is in the top 6. No way will Indian bowling have any impact. Associate nations can have a field day with this bowling attack.

Posted by Venkatb on (December 7, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

We have a cricket league here in New Jersey - yep, he may make it to the top 6 in our league!

Posted by yoohoo on (December 7, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

@ Syed Mohammad Hassan - All of them took less wickets than zaheer in the 2011 World Cup. Oh wait, you don't want to look at statistics that might mean something, I'm sorry!!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 7, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

Zaheer, in the top six? Try the top Sixty. Typical delusion from a losing team.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (December 7, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

Zaheer Khan has been fantastic at times in his career. Now he is old, unfit and slow.

Posted by Munafis810 on (December 7, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

I am an ardent India fan but despite being that , I still cant help laughing and feel sorry for our team at same time at this statement. Truth of fact now which we as fans have to accept and more than u s BCCI needs to accept is TIME FOR CHANGE has come. AND by that I mean time for change for batters and bowlers (however great players they were in past). Exceptional talent like Rahane and others is bieng wasted due to non performing seniors in team. And as far as bowling goes, BCCI will have to throw and experiment with raw talents and keep trying till a set of decent bowlers is foung. They have no choice but to experiment with whichever bowler shows promise...give him fair chances and drop or retain as per performances. It should not matter if it is U-19 bowler ( Sandepp , Harmeet) or Over-30 bowler (Murali Kartick)

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

If BCCI pays me as much as they are to Joe,I will say Ashwin will be the next Anil Kumble and Ishant will be the next Steyn.Indian cricket at rock bottom.

Posted by 1_234 on (December 7, 2012, 12:39 GMT)


Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (December 7, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

he he . Rest for 25 chars

Posted by boris6491 on (December 7, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

I'm not trying to be a cynic, but you can have the best wrist position in world cricket as well as the number 6 spot in the rankings, but bowling 120 kmph without swinging or seaming the ball sufficiently to have the batsman shuffling won't trouble tailenders let alone the likes of Cook, Pietersen and Trott. You need to do a hell of a lot more than that to have a chance at getting guys like that out, particularly when considering the form they're in. And this isn't improving from Zaheer. Some decisions need to be taken about his future in the game and I really feel the best thing he can do is hang up the boots in tests. Let's face it, he's just not good enough anymore for them.

Posted by Captain_Crick on (December 7, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Testing times for the Indian Cricket Team!

Posted by ABRAR-JANJUA on (December 7, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

hahahahaha what a joke , after watching today's performance of indian bowlers Mr. Joe Dawes must apologies about that statement.

Posted by pauln2 on (December 7, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

Very funny. Rates with comments from Mr. Dawes' homeland that Phil Hughes has suddenly become a top-flight test batsman.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

At the current ranking for test players, Zaheer is at #14. By the end of the series he may be in 20s. India's bowling stinks. So this series result is likely to be 3-1, and the Indias' place at the end of it in ranking would drop couple more places. While New Zealand is not hesitant to drop the captain, India hesitates to even change the batting order. Dhoni will end up as one of the worst captains.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

I thoroughly believe that BCCI and cricket fans in India live and always want to live in the illusion of "We are the BEST"... that's why yesterday fielding coach and today bowling coach played with their emotions.... I anyone wanna a further proof, check Zaheer Khan's profile written by Sid Monga and then check the stats of other bowlers with whom he tried to compare Zak... Crciinfo! please publish!! as most of my realistic comments are not published by you... and only those where i praise someone is published...

Posted by El_Toro_Loco on (December 7, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

@ Raashed Ahmed : Actually it is a 2nd page article as a matter of fact any glorifying article about indian bowling is a pure comedy, Bollywood style. LOL....

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

No surprises from the club-level coach...its expected from him...after so many IPLs how come BCCI dont have the money for at least a decent coach (bowling and overall)...even BD has Saqlin Mustaq.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

@Ali Les Disquaires, I don't count Imran Tahir among the best at all. Zaheer is definitely better than him.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

What about Ajmal, Philandar, Southee, Anderson, Steyn, Morkel, Finn, Swann, Rampaul, Roach, Gul, Pattinson, Starc, Siddle, Edwards?

Posted by SoverBerry2 on (December 7, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

Let Zaheer retire from all forms (pace bowlers can retire when they are 34 years 61 days)...We all know that Zaheer Khan was phenomenal in the last decade. Time to move on...

Posted by satanswish on (December 7, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

We don't care for rankings whether Zaheer is 6th or 60th. Fact is that he is not delivering good as earlier.

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 7, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

Come on Sandeep Sharma of India U19 is a much better wicket taking bowler. Zaks was good in the past not now. We need young blood - two teams toured recently India U19 to Oz wc and WON. India A to NZ played well there as well.

Posted by HumungousFungus on (December 7, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

Dawes' comments are misguided here. Five years ago, had someone said that Zaheer Khan was one of the top six bowlers in the world, I'd have nodded my head and said "yep, that's fair". Now? As injury and age take their toll, he is sadly a shadow of the bowler he was. Agree with @sony_sr that he can't bowl flat out now, because he'll just break...which is a shame, but it happens to us all eventually. Oh, and Mr Dawes, the following list for your consideration. Bowlers I'd take before Zaheer right now, today, if I had to get 20 wickets to win a Test match: Anderson, Finn, Onions, Swann, Panesar, Pattinson, Siddle, Starc, Steyn, Morkel, Kallis, De Lange, Philander, Roach, Rampaul, Yadav, Ohja, Ajmal, Rehman, Umar Gul, Herath, Southee, Boult, Bracewell, and Al Hasan. He has been a great servant of India but his heart is clearly no longer in Test cricket, and he is only playing because of the lack of credible seam bowling options elsewhere. He remains an excellent limited overs bowler.

Posted by Sanj747 on (December 7, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

Joe Dawes get e life mate. You are just like the Indian telling each other and themselves how good they all are. Top 6 in the world you goota be kidding me. When was his last big wicket haul.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

This has to be best joke, overtaking the 'Sachin of Bowling' joke from Dhoni !!!

Posted by golgo_85 on (December 7, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

Philander, Steyn, Morkel, Anderson, Finn, Starc, Pattinson, Junaid Khan, Southee, Boult, blah blah blah bloo bloo blew blew, and a couple of Bangladeshis, then your own Umesh, then someone else, then pathetic Zaheer just for the sake of it

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 7, 2012, 11:27 GMT)

zaheer is obviously better than all of englands fast bowlers but i think thats where it ends

Posted by smudgeon on (December 7, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

On current form, Zaheer would struggle to get picked ahead of Martin McCague in backyard cricket. Nothing wrong with talking up your charges as a bowling coach, but try to aim for realistic, eh?

Posted by drdre2727 on (December 7, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

well what else to say that when some one is trying to protect his job :D poor lad

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 7, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

I agree with a lot of what Joe Dawes has said particularly the investment in bowlers for the future. We won't see the full potential of Ishant, Yadav and Aaron until 3-5 years time depending on their respective ages. But in the meantime Ishant has got to make stupid comments such as leeting the opposition that things will be different when they tour India because this current series clearly show it isn't. The question then is what has happened to the bowlers of 4-5 years who should be hitting their peaks now and instead so that we are left with guys who learning the ropes. Zaheer up until about 2 years ago was one of the most skilful pace bowlers and very underrated by many non-Indian fans. Whether he'll ever be as effective as he once was remains to be seen but doesn't help the cause by not looking after his own fitness. So why are fast bowlers, although it's not just India's, picking up so many injuries?

Posted by Prabahar_Trichy on (December 7, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

Dawes pointing Zak in Top six of Left handers....

Posted by Javed_Munir_Dar on (December 7, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

hahahahah, joke of the year, Zaheer in top 6 bolwers, i must admit that Joe Dawes has a good sense of humour,

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

Why this rubbish when we all know what they are capable of at the moment.

Posted by SCC08 on (December 7, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

I think he meant top 60 or 600.

Posted by justanotherfan13 on (December 7, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

India's future in bowling department looks bleak as Ravindra Jadeja getting triple centuries at his will :)

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

Ajmal, philandar, southee, Anderson, styne, morkel, finn, imran tahir, swan, rampaul, you means Zaheer better then these bowlers!!!??

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

When I first saw the headline I thought it was a Page 2 article!!

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

For next test, beg from Punjab their's bowling line up at least these young guys know how to hunt as pack and take 20 wickets, they have 4 fast bowlers better than Zahir and Punjab's Harbhajan still better than ASHWIN and Ojha

Posted by brijeshrai on (December 7, 2012, 10:56 GMT)



Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (December 7, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

'Got to be among the top six bowlers in the world today'- really is he meaning Zaheer Khan? More believable if he is 'among the top six fielders in the world today'...LOL. Don't think with an avg like 60 would be in top 60 bowlers ..I'd imagine ?....

Posted by vinodzz on (December 7, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

at least don't spoil anyone by changing their action

Posted by sony_sr on (December 7, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

Please do not tweak umesh's action. The last thing we want is to see umesh come back as another munaf patel.

Isanth sharma had a beautiful action when he started his career and the results where for everyone to see, but after sometime he lost it and now his action is just crap. Bowling 6 balls in an over with 6 different arm actions. Drop him from team and let him play 2 full ranji seasons and come back with a bagfull of wickets.

And for zaheer, best thing we can do is to drop him for ever and invest on some other guy, probably pankaj singh. Zaheer is such a liability to the team now. He is just giving 50% as he knows more than anyone else that the moment he goes for 100%, he will get injured.

Posted by Heisenburg on (December 7, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

'Zaheer top 6 in the world" Never heard a bigger joke in my life, Australia alone has about 10 bowlers better than him.

Posted by 777aditya on (December 7, 2012, 10:04 GMT)

Zaheer in top six?! good joke! Philander, Steyn, Morkel, Anderson, Finn, Southee, Rampaul - wait, already seven better than Zaheer currently, and just began counting! So, please stop this mindless praise and let younger guys step in. Younger does not necessarily mean Ishant - tired of reading Ishant and unlucky in the same sentence.

Posted by Naeem578 on (December 7, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

What a joke Mr.Joe Dawes. A bowler whose career avrg is near 30 and recently over 60 runs per wicket you are giving him 6th rank in international cricket :-) In fact in the subcontinent there are much better fast bowlers than him with better averages and strike rates.

Posted by omer123 on (December 7, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

Joke of the year!. ......

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 9:23 GMT)


Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

Means he is the 6th bowler in that list of top 6...

Posted by SachinSawant16feb on (December 7, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

Coach is correct here, this bowling unit is really good and We cannot blame current him for current situation of bowlers, common grow up, this is not under 14 team, all of these played more than enough cricket at this level and performed well too, i think what these guys need is SHOCK by keeping them away from final 11 and give chance to other youngsters, what? they wont perform at this level, ...OK but whats wrong in giving them a chance (if not in test at least in ODI), where we are repeatedly giving chances to zak, ishant and harbhajan, The main cause why these guys (including batsmen) are not performing is, they are earning great throughout the year from Adds and IPL, also they know the fact that our hopeless selectors will always be with them under pressure from BCCI and big advertising BRANDS

Posted by Samar_Singh on (December 7, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

No matter how good wrist you have or how good a bowler you are , unless one is capable of taking wickets ,its of no use ... Stats do not say that .. all Indian bowlers have an average of above 30 , Ishant 37+ .. is that any bowling ???? All Indian bowlers are over hyped even the so called legendary Kumble or bhajji, Shrikant or Kapil dev are no exceptional.

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 7, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

ZAKS is not young any more. Bowling his type of 'leap deliveries' is taking its toll. He was at peak when INDIA gained NO1 but has deteriorated since. Dawes is only echoing hope - Indias bowling problems have been there for awhile. Jayasuriya and Attupattu used to take them to the cleaners.We need wicket taking bowlers.

Posted by IshanH on (December 7, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

Zaheer among top 6 bowlers in the world?? What a joke mate!!! SA & Australia ALONE got more than 6 of the worlds' best bowlers. Wonder who you trying to impress. Made my day though.. i like comedy.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

Indian bowlers making progress? Lol this would be my joke of the day!!

Posted by streetblader on (December 7, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

ha ha... good one...nice to see someone with a good sense of humour...

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