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Monday, December 13, 2010

Abdul Razzaq - an all-rounder Pakistan needs

 Abdul Razzaq is an individual who is regarded as a respected all-rounder throughout the cricketing world. For Pakistan it is their good luck that inspite of lacking serious domestic infrastructure, it has been able to produce talented cricketers. It is a gift that has been associated with Pakistan Cricket for a long time and one wonders for how long they will cash in on it.
Abdul Razzaq has been in the Pakistan side for more than 10 years and he has been able to produce some memorable performances during this time. As Pakistani cricket is under the cloud of spot fixing and has lost its main strike bowlers, the importance of Abdul Razzaq has increased even further.  Not only can he ball well, he also has this wonderful ability of scoring match wining innings for Pakistan. Recently he has been able to repeat this batting extravaganza and it reminded us of the old times when he used to explode. Originally he was a bowler but later he also added batting to his resume. When Pakistan is seriously considering a replacement for Aamir and Asif, Razzaq is definitely on everybody’s mind as he is almost a permanent member of their One Day and Twenty20 line up. Razzaq’s medium fast bowling has been effective for Pakistan as in the past he has been able to bowl opening spells as well as in the middle over’s. He has been doing this for Pakistan for many years. Razzaq has managed to take many wickets, especially in One Dayers through some accurate and tidy bowling. The fate of Aamir and Asif is yet to be decided and one feels that Pakistan has to rely on its experienced players who haved performed for them in the past.
In the past, Pakistan has been using Razzaq as their main bowler and to his credit he has been able to provide them with important breakthroughs at vital moments. He can slow down the run rate with his accurate and straight bowling and with his in-swinging abilities, can dismiss batsmen at any stage of the match. The Pakistani balling line-up despite the absence of Aamir and Asif has bowled well recently and has been able to trouble the batsmen throughout.  In the recent Twenty20 matches against South Africa, the Pakistani ballers did not ball poorly and had the batsmen been able to perform their duty, the ballers would have posed problems for the opposition. In these times, Pakistan needs someone like Razzaq who has a lot of International experience under his belt to take the responsibility of a senior baller in the lineup.
Razzaq, apart from the 2007 period, has remained a permanent member of the Pakistani One Day squad. In 2007, he was dropped from the squad because of poor form but later on whenever he has been given chances he has been able to perform with both bat and ball. An injury and lack of form forced him to be dropped out of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. He was also not selected for the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa, and as a result he decided to retire from International cricket. But in October 2007 he revoked his decision saying that he made the decision in the heat of the moment.
Pakistan needs to capatalise on Razzaq’s experience as an all rounder in the coming series and the World Cup. One thing that goes in Pakistan’s favor is that he is recognized as a genuine all rounder who can take his side out of trouble. He has a tendency of bowling an accurate line and length and picking odd wickets. Pakistan bowling is still powerful as they have the experience of bowlers like Razzaq who can provide a breakthrough and has the ability to pick the wicket of any batsman. Though, he has slowed down a bit, his accuracy and length still remains, making him deadly.
With time he has learned adopted a quick arm bowling action, which makes it difficult for the batsmen to figure out with what speed the ball is going to be delivered. He is also the youngest baller to take a hat trick in Test cricket in a match against Sri Lanka. In the Cartlon and United series in Australia in 1999 he managed 5 wickets for 43 runs in a match against India and he scored 70 valuable runs. He has dismissed Tendulkar a number of times in the series and was named Man of the Series.
In recent times, Razzaq has been able to perform well in the Twenty20 format.  In the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup, he performed well in the tournament by taking 5 wickets at an economy rate of 5.92 and at an average of 14.80.  In the 2010 Twenty20 series against England he scored a match winning 46* from 18 balls, it helped Pakistan to level the two match series 1-1. Razzaq also performed reasonably well with both bat and ball in the 3 matches of the 5 match One Day Series against England in September.
Razzaq would definitely add variety in the Pakistani balling lineup as he generally balls with a disciplined length and does not give much to the batsman to score in his spells. With his presence, Pakistani balling will not be lacking experience.  Another display of his all-round performance was witnessed recently when he single handedly won Pakistan the third One Day Match against South Africa. His knock of 109* off 72 balls helped Pakistan to level the 5 match series. He struck 7 fours and 10 sixes to take the initiate away from South Africa and gave Pakistan a victory which at one time seemed impossible.
Razzaq is one all-rounder who cannot be ignored in the Squad and if he has a good day, he can easily best the opposition. .
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