'My Test career not over' - Abdul Razzaq
Abdul Razzaq, who is playing for Hampshire in the Friends Provident t20, has said he would have been a worthy addition to Pakistan's Test squad for the ongoing tour of England. Razzaq has featured intermittently in Pakistan's ODI and Twenty20 plans after reversing his early retirement, but has not played a Test since 2006. However, he feels he has a lot to contribute, especially in seamer-friendly conditions.
"In English conditions I would have been effective, especially given the nature of the wickets at both Nottingham and Birmingham," Razzaq told PakPassion.net. "I don't believe that my Test career is over, even though I haven't featured for Pakistan for more than three-and-a-half years. I am ready to return to Test cricket whenever I am required. Of course it's out of my hands and down to the selectors and those that select the squads. There seems to be differing schools of thought among the coaches as to whether I can do well in Test cricket."
Pakistan have struggled against England's bowling attack, crumbling to one-sided defeats in the first two of four Tests. In addition to the top-order's short-comings, Razzaq also blamed the side's poor fielding for the losses. "The age-old problem of poor fielding has not been eradicated. During practice our fielding is very good but it seems that the concentration slips during a match situation. Some of the boys don't really enjoy their fielding and that's a problem too.
"We've always struggled against the swinging deliveries and none of our top-order batsmen have really been able to get a foothold against the English bowling and make a big score. You need your top order players to make scores of 50-plus to give the bowlers something to bowl at. Both England and Australia are very good teams. Their standards are very high and Pakistan should look to match those high standards and improve their game, otherwise England will continue to comfortably beat Pakistan in the remaining Test matches."
Razzaq was confident Pakistan would come back into the series in the third Test at The Oval, where the conditions should be more to their liking. "The track at The Oval is likely to suit Pakistan and the batsmen will prefer conditions there. If it is a more batsman-friendly track then Pakistan could defeat England," he said.
Razzaq said Pakistan would compete better in the ODIs and Twenty20s that follow the Tests. "It's a totally different game isn't it? The outcome of the Test series will have no bearing on the limited-overs matches, as both squads will have a number of different players included. Our approach will be different in the shorter versions of the game and we'll aim to give England a tough time in that series," he said.