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Razzaq wants larger role

Abdul Razzaq bowled a stifling opening spell Getty Images

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."