The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Woolmer tips India to lift Cup

Cape Town: With South Africa making an early exit, their former coach Bob Woolmer is backing India to win the World Cup.

“I have always believed and still do that Indians have it in them to win the World Cup,” said Woolmer., who acquired superstar status during his heady days with the South African team in the ’90s. “I backed India in England and am backing them now. They are great World Cup contenders.”

Woolmer has been very impressed with the discipline India have shown in recent times.

“India have a very powerful batting line-up but I am also very impressed with the discipline in the field, particularly of the fast bowlers who seem to know what they are doing.”

Woolmer rates the present Indian side vastly superior to the ones he faced numerous times during his tenure as South Africa coach.

He sounded happy with his present job of an ICC development officer which takes him around countries like Kenya, Namibia, Canada and Holland on coaching assignments.

He was critical of the South African team for its ouster in the group stages.

“You can blame the weather but the team wasn’t prepared for rain. That’s a gross tardiness especially when you look at how the entire nation has gone into mourning.”

Citing example of his County Warwickshire, Woolmer said even a first-class side was ready these days to tackle the Duckworth-Lewis system.

“In our dressing room in Warwickshire, there is a radar which conveys how far rain has moved and whether it has a chance to interfere with the game. An international side ought to be aware of the weather and can’t take chances at all.”

Woolmer sounded worried with the dearth of talent in South Africa.

“There is a bit of vacuum. Some of the whites may be giving up cricket and doing other things,” Woolmer said.

He was extremely upset with the way Allan Donald, who incidentally plays for Warwickshire, was treated during the ongoing tournament.

“It is disappointing how he has been treated. They selected him for a reason and lost confidence in him after just one game.

“Every cricketer, whether 21 or 35, needs confidence and boosting. It certainly wasn’t the case with Allan. Just one bad game and they played into him.“This is not the way to look after a player. The whole thing got to him but then he also has to accept certain blame for not bowling well,” Woolmer added.

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