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The news from Pakistan's current training camp confirms an inconvenient truth about one of its most enigmatic players: Abdul Razzaq is failing to live up to expectations. The Razzler began with a hesitant bang in the 1999 World Cup when Wasim Akram had him batting at number three and bowling like an attacking bowler. Razzaq had an intriguing batting technique that saw him block his opponents like Chris Tavare before unleashing a violent assault worthy of Shahid Afridi.
Over the years he has developed into a destructive batsman in one-day cricket, left leg planted out outside leg stump followed by a true swing of his blade. And it is this assault technique that has kept him on the international scene for the decline in his bowling--from pacer to trundler--has rendered him impotent in Tests.
Pakistan's cricket fans have mostly hoped that Razzaq would pull it around. Despite his failure at Middlesex, his spinach-induced illness, and his infuriating bowling you imagined that Razzaq would wake from his reverie. He might still but at this moment he seems further from redemption than he has ever been.
A year ago contemplating a Pakistan Twenty20 team without Razzaq would have been beyond reason. A few months ago he was being talked of as a possible captain or vice-captain. Now he is a liability, a donkey in the field and a work-horse with the ball.
Still, I find it hard to conclude that The Razzler's ballistic batting would not be an asset in the Wham Bam of a Twenty20 encounter. Surely his ecstatic batting will return even though his bowling is miserable and his fielding is joyless?
Razzaq has shown enough thrashing ability in his career to merit a trip to the Twenty20 World Cup. But if the rumours from the Pakistan camp are true then the ruin of the Razzler may prove to be a calamity for Pakistan's chances.
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets hereFeeds: Kamran Abbasi
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi