Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Comeback of Abdul Razzaq

Younis Khan's captaincy, Shahid Afridi's allround effort, Umar Gul's scorching yorkers, Saeed Ajmal's canny offspin, Kamran Akmal's opening onslaught, Mohammad Aamer's speed and mature head...

All of them and their efforts have been praised by everyone who witnessed Pakistan's performance in the World Twenty20.

Pakistani fans, cricket experts, column writers, and everyone who care to share their thoughts have continuously raved about the above-mentioned stars of Pakistan's successful T20 campaign.

One man whose efforts have gone almost un-noticed and who has not got his fair share of credit for Pakistan's victory, is Abdul Razzaq.

The entire Pakistan was elated when Razzaq was called in as a replacement for Yasir Arafat. And for good reason.

Over the last 2 years, we had all seen Razzaq conquer the ICL with bat and ball; we had also witnessed his destructive form in the RBS 20-20 Cup.

Pakistan had hardly made the ideal start to the cup and Razzaq's addition to the squad was exactly the kind of impetus the team was looking for.

Younis handing him the new ball was a masterstroke. I didn't expect it; I even questioned it, but it worked wonders for Pakistan.

Razzaq's level headed performance in the first 6 overs did not allow any team to get off to a flying start against Pakistan.

This is apparent in the table I put up recently showing Pakistan's disciplinary turnaround.

Razzaq brought all his experience to the field and bowled with skill and precision to tie the opposition down.

Yasir and Tanvir has been wayward and expensive in Pakistan's first few matches, which had resulted in Umar Gul bowling an over or two at the beginning.

Razzaq's effort allowed Younis Khan to keep Gul for the latter stages of the innings, which was essential to Pakistan's plans.

Razzaq not only gave Pakistan good starts with the ball, he also enabled the perfect endings with the ball through Gul.

To top this all, Razzaq ended the tournament with the 3 wicket burst in the final.

People have talked about Pakistan's victory being one of the best turnaround stories in sport.

What about Razzaq's turnaround - the man who quit international cricket because he was left out of the World T20 squad in 2007 returned to the squad for the same tournament in 2009 and helped Pakistan win it.

Now that is what I call turning it around!

Pakistan may not have done it without Afridi, but they surely would not have done it without Razzaq.

Make your pitch on this post...



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12 Pitched:

  1. Ceci said...
     

    Am rather wondering what will happen to the ICL now - is it finished?

  2. Stani Army said...
     

    Q,
    I really wanted Razzaq to fire with he bat also but it didn't quite come off. Maybe he was a bit rusty from being in the wilderness. With his high handle grip, he can hit a ball!

    I was impressed with his new ball spells as in the past he's very rarely taken the new ball in one dayers.

    Needs to work on facing spinners though.

    Ceci,
    I think they will try to carry on with more youngsters and outcasts so it will not be as high profile. It's sad though as this means the bullies have won.

  3. Azfar said...
     

    Q awesome stuff yaar...Abdul Razzaq's inclusion in the team was definitely a morale booster for the team.

  4. Q said...
     

    Ceci,

    They have released a lot of players.. many high profile ones.. almost all the Indians and Pakistanis.. so I have no idea what their future might be.. They are saying that they will have a series in October, but it won't have the same players.. It won't be as successful as it was before..

  5. Q said...
     

    Stani,

    I guess he will take some time before coming back to his batting form.. spinners will always remain a weakness for him.

  6. Q said...
     

    Stani,

    I guess he will take some time before coming back to his batting form.. spinners will always remain a weakness for him.

  7. Q said...
     

    Azfar,

    It sure was .. and as u said to me a few days ago - he did not receive the due credit he deserved...

  8. Late Inswing said...
     

    Agreed Q. After Razzaq's entry it was 4/4 and the cup for Pakistan. I believe he freed up Afridi and gave a lot of balance which went unremarked.

  9. Q said...
     

    Late,

    You r right abt the balance but I think freeing up Afridi happened irrespective of Razzaq.. I mean Afridi asked YK to bat up the order and he would have batted at 3 whether or not Razzaq was there...

    But I see where ur coming from.. that having Razzaq in the lower order did not worry YK when he promoted Afridi.. The risk was much less with Razzaq in the lower order.

  10. Superunknown said...
     

    Somehow he has been more useful in ODis and now T20s than Tests. He hasnt been very consistent in Tests and he hasnt played that many tests (46) as he should have with his talent.

    But i guess with ICL behind him and with backing of Younis, he should turn the tide in Tests if he gets chances.

  11. Q said...
     

    Sam,

    I never really regarded him as a test player.. his bowling is not penetrative enough for tests and he doesn't make the team as a batsman.. for me was always an ODI/T20 player and his class in that is unmatched.. one of the best allrounders for sure.

  12. Herry said...
     

    Thanks for great info about Abdul Razzaq

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