Razzaq will be one of the key performers, says Wasim

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NEW DELHI - Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels that veteran all-rounder Abdul Razzaq will be one of the players to watch out for in the World Cup.

The legendary fast bowler, who played a crucial role during the 1992 World Cup triumph, said that all-rounders have a great role to play and they will be of great advantage for the team.

“There was a time, when Imran (Khan), Kapil Dev, Ian Botham and Richard Hadlee would vie among each other for the No.1 all-rounder tag. In this ICC Cricket World Cup, it will be among Shane Watson, Yusuf Pathan and Pakistans Abdul Razzaq. These three can make or break their teams fortunes,” Akram was quoted as saying ESPNStar.com.

“I will be keenly watching Razzaks performance. He is definitely up there with Shane Watson and Yusuf Pathan, but is somewhat lacking in his bowling skills. Razzak will have to focus on pace and improve his fielding, too. In spite of his great experience, he is relatively young and a proven match-winner. If Razzak can be a bit more mentally tough and physically robust, he will definitely end up as the player of the tournament,” he said.

Akram also said that in absence of banned Mohammed Aamer and Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul will have to spearhead the bowling attack.

“Gul is bowling quick and if he can utilize the reverse swing, he will be deadly. I hope Shoaib Akhtar stays fit throughout the tournament. Shahid Afridis main job is to handle Akhtar well. Akhtar should be used in short bursts, of about four overs at the start of the innings, then he can bowl a couple in the middle and then in the slog overs. Because Pakistan need Akhtars pace, short spells will be best. His reverse swing at hostile pace will be really effective,” said Akram.

He also feels that the absence of all-rounder Sohail Tanvir will hurt Pakistan.

“After Razzak, he was a dependable all-rounder. Tanvir is a good bat and could have contributed to the score lower down the order. But its no point crying over spilt milk. I think, with Afridi around, there is plenty of option. Team selection will certainly be key,” said Akram.

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