A new thread on the blog is due for a long time, but there can’t be a better time to write one and give the Dazzler his due. Abdul Razzaq who has always been criticized for running his motor in two modes. Recently I heard that Inzamam used to say that Razzaq operates only in two gears, first and fourth. I have also felt the same way after seeing his various performances in the past few years but, never delved deeper to find out what the reason is? And why does he perform in such extremes?
In Abdul Razzaq’s own words which he finally spoke after his brilliant match winning century against SA, he said: “My talent has never been fully utilized especially my batting talent and I was made to play at different positions and whenever I failed, I was dropped.” He highlighted the point that if a player is performing under fear that if he does not perform in the match he is dropped in the next. With such kinda fear no one can perform.
In my opinion first it was Inzamam who destroyed his career when he was the captain and then Shoaib Malik did the rest. In fact Shoaib Malik tried his best to get rid of Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi when Malik was the captain. I do remember once Abdul Razzaq complained that Inzamam used to tell him to bowl fast, whereas Razzaq’s view was to concentrate on line, length and swing, but Inzamam wanted speed. In short if you treat a player like this his psyche is effected and it is not easy to focus and concentrate on the game.
Despite being from Punjab Abdul Razzaq was treated like a step son or an outcast for whatever reasons best known to Inzamam. In Malik’s case it was obvious that he did not want any all-rounder in the team so that he can proclaim himself as the best all-rounder of Pakistan team. And he did proclaim not once but, a few times, just like monkey praising his own tail.
In the 2nd ODI when Robinson was sent as an opener with Amla, Ramiz Raja said, Pakistan should think out of the box and send Abdul Razzaq as an opener. And, Mohammad Akram the other commentator said, we have seen Abdul Razzaq opening the innings in county matches so he should be used here as an opener.
At least a dozen times we have mentioned here on this blog that in the shorter version of the game especially T20, Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi must open the innings for Pakistan because, of the power play and also if one analyze the situation if Abdul Razzaq and Afridi come and play in the 16th or 17th over they are wasted. Because, no one can start hitting sixes from ball one.
The truth that Abdul Razzaq has spoken after the match winning century that players should not be dropped after one or two matches but, they must be encouraged. Unfortunately that law applies only for the CHOSEN ONES the likes of Misbah, Malik, Farhat, Salman Butt, Rana Naveed etc., the mediocre nothing players kept coming back in the team again and again after so many failures.
Afridi has always supported Abdul Razzaq and he has even used Mohammed Hafeez very well, Hafeez either scores or take wickets, bowls economically and looks like a changed player under Afridi’s captaincy. He even supported Shoaib Akhtar whom we all criticized and wanted to see his back. But, now with his shorter run up he is a different bowler at least he is not a liability.
Pakistan should soon decide what their team will be for the 2011 WC and try to gel the team rather than experimenting till the last moment. They should stick with the opening pair and should not disturb them if they fail once or twice. But, the PCB has a history of being the most disorganized and corrupt board in the cricket playing nations and as long as Ijaz Butt is there nothing can be done. He uses his veto and ruins the esprit de corps.