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World Cup 2011

Razzaq wants larger role

Osman Samiuddin in Colombo

March 1, 2011

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Abdul Razzaq bowled a stifling opening spell, New Zealand v Pakistan, 4th ODI, Napier, February 1, 2011
Abdul Razzaq wants the opportunity make an impact in this World Cup © Getty Images
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Abdul Razzaq wants to play a bigger role in Pakistan's World Cup campaign. In two matches so far, Razzaq has been a peripheral figure, having played a total of 10 balls and bowled just five overs in each game.

Part of the problem has been his low spot in the batting order, way down at number eight. Pakistan's middle order has performed well, so Razzaq has not had the opportunity to do anything after coming in. Compensation has come in the form of opening the bowling, but though he improved in the second game against Sri Lanka, he remains wicketless.

"It is my wish to bat up the order but that's up to the team requirement," Razzaq said after a practice session at the P Sara Oval in Colombo. "It is the team's unity that everyone is doing what is needed. Whenever I get a chance I will perform. The main aim is to perform for the team. Our batting line-up is looking long just because it is performing well, otherwise it will look short if it doesn't perform."

The limited role has led to questions about the balance of the side; Pakistan have played with three specialist bowlers and Shahid Afridi in both games, and the combination has not allowed Razzaq to contribute. Neither has it allowed for another specialist bowler to be played. "When you get to bat your confidence goes high but our batting is strong so I am not getting chances," Razzaq said.

"If you look at other teams, number seven and eight are not getting much chances but that is part of the game because the pitches here are slow and help batting. I am keeping myself ready in the nets so whenever the team needs me I will be playing my part."

Razzaq has had some success with the ball in Sri Lanka over the years, picking up 28 wickets in 27 ODIs at 27 each. "My role with the new ball is to do five or six overs and take one or two wickets, if I do that it's good for the team. You have to be fit to do both batting and bowling and I have kept my fitness and have experience of bowling on such type of wickets."

Pakistan's next game is on Thursday against Canada and it is expected that there will be changes in the line-up, to account for injuries as well as experimentation. Abdur Rehman, the left-arm spinner, is out and it is likely that Misbah-ul-Haq will be rested, to avoid aggravating a slight hamstring strain.

"Some changes might happen for that game," Afridi, Pakistan's captain, said after practice. "We want to have such a combination where we give fast bowlers a chance as well. We will sit down and discuss it in a team meeting, but we can experiment with future games in mind. Canada will not be taken lightly and whatever experimentation we do, we'll still go in with full strength."

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 77 
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Posted by irfan on (March 3, 2011, 5:30 GMT)

Can some body look at hafeez's average. I am sure if razaq will open the ining he will score more runs and he will not loose his wicket like uncle hafeez

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 3, 2011, 3:30 GMT)

Pakistan has two genuine all-rounders in the squad, in Razzaq and Afridi, whereas other sides are yearning for atleast one. But sadly, not even 50% of Razzaq's talent and potential is utilised, especially his batting. I feel Afridi is particular that Umar Akmal and himself bat higher up than Razzaq!

Posted by sajjo on (March 3, 2011, 0:54 GMT)

true razzaq used to be the best ODI all rounder in the world. he isnt anymore, but he is still a matchwinner. batting him at no.8 is ridiculus, and bowling him only 5 overs doesnt make sense. his skills are being wasted.

Posted by fabian on (March 3, 2011, 0:47 GMT)

Batting Razzaq at number 8?? What a waste.Try him as a pinch-hitter like Hampshire did in the Final. Not sure he has the sting anymore to be partnering Akhtar with the new ball though.Hope Pakistan do well in this World Cup.

Posted by muhammed on (March 2, 2011, 22:22 GMT)

I agree Razzaq should be given a more important role to play. Pakistan batting should be flexible, particulalry entering the last 15 overs of the game room must be made to accomodate Razzaq up the order. Also when Pakistan are chasing big score he is ideal to go up the order against meium pace attacks. We know he is very destructive, but must be given a chance.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 2, 2011, 21:15 GMT)

Here Is my team for rest of the matches.

Kamran Shahzad Younis Razzaq Misbah Asad Afridi Junaid Gul Ajmal Akhtar

Posted by awais on (March 2, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

we need to forget about 99 world cup. we had a very different team back then and risking razzaq up in the order wasnt a big deal bcoz u had yousuf n inzi in middle order.but now u have just found a balance for the team.after a long run of defeats and upsetting stuff this team has just got back into some sort of rhythm and we r still right on the edge.any wrong change can b fatal for the team so razzaq is good where he is.against good teams he will b used even if u lose afridi and umer around 40 to 45 overs, razzaq can still b there with tail n defend or attack watever is needed.u cant expect afridi to defend so u need razzaq down there.2 good partenerships by misbah and younis n everyboday wants razzaq as opener.just a month ago we were seeing razzaq batting in 36th over, isnt this situation better then that one? michael bevan for australia had an average of 55 but they never moved him up the order did they.same for angelo mathews of sri lanka or pathan of india.relax guys

Posted by rasheed on (March 2, 2011, 15:28 GMT)

razzaq have to open the batting with hafeez..............he is a good opened but afridi and pak not thinking this...poor captain and coach........think about it afridi n waqar he is good opener.............

Posted by Aamir on (March 2, 2011, 15:11 GMT)

Razzaq finished the county season in England, playing as an opener. He is a real good bat and should be promoted to No. 3. Kamran Akmal should be rested and Umar Akmal should take over his role behind wickets. This would also release one place for another bowler Junaid or Wahab Riaz.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 2, 2011, 15:01 GMT)

he should be used according to situation. in sri lanka game he should have been sent instead of akmal. because if he gets set then it difficult for the bowlers as he becomes unstoppable

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
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