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Willis: Out of Harm's way

BOB ANSWERS YOUR EMAIL...

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SUB PAR SUB CONTINENT
Bob, A lot of people thought India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka would do well in the Champions Trophy as it was in the sub-continent. You were out there, what were people saying were the reasons for none of them making the last four? Ian Arnold.

BOB SAYS: Pakistan was because they were without Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Inzamam ul-Haq and because their batsmen don't like playing on bouncy tracks. Two of their matches were in Mohali on pitches as un-Indian as you could dream up - fast, grassy and bouncy. Pakistan can't cope in those conditions anywhere in the world.

Sri Lanka played quite well at times during the series but lost the crucial game. I think they are a little bit light in batting, if the truth be told, and they rely very heavily on Murali in the bowling department.

India the hosts are still in transition and it is a reflection of their lack of young talent that for their tour of South Africa in the one-dayers they have looked backwards rather than forwards. They haven't picked any young players at all but gone back Anil Kumble, Wasim Jaffer, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra who have played a lot in the past. I think India have big problems in the future.

HIGH AS A BUMBLE
Hi Bob, Would you be able to tell me where Bumble gets his drugs from? He says England can win the World Cup. He has to be having a laugh isn't he? Mike, Singapore.

BOB SAYS: I can't see how England is going to get anywhere near winning the World Cup. I think the West Indians were in a pretty relaxed mood when England beat them in Ahmedabad.

There doesn't seem to be any policy about one-day cricket with England and, as I have said here many times before, England should start with the Test match XI and extend that squad to 16 players who should play all of England's cricket - five-day and one-day.

They keep going with these bits and pieces players, the latest of whom is Mike Yardy, who just don't look the part.

Bumble is unusually optimistic about English cricket and I am unusually optimistic about England's chances in Australia in the Test series but I don't think one can be realistically optimistic about their one-day cricket.I am not sure who his chemist is by the way.