Razzak is up there with Pathan and Watson, says Akram

New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Even as the cricketing world goesbonkers over Yusuf Pathan and Shane Watson''s all-roundabilities, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram tips countrymanAbdul Razzak to hog the limelight in the forthcoming WorldCup.

"In spite of his great experience, he is relatively youngand a proven match winner. If Razzak can be a bit morementally tough and physically robust, he will definitely endup as the player of the tournament," said Akram.

"He is definitely up there with Shane Watson and YusufPathan, but is somewhat lacking in his bowling skills. Razzakwill have to focus on pace and improve his fielding, too," headded.

Emphasising further on the role of all-rounders in a bigtournament like the World Cup, Akram said, "They have a greatrole to play and the teams that have them will be at a greatadvantage. There was a time, when Imran (Khan), Kapil Dev, IanBotham and Richard Hadlee would vie among each other for theNo.1 all-rounder tag.

"In this World Cup, it will be among Watson, Yusuf andRazzaq. These three can make or break their team''s fortunes,"he said.

The former left-arm pacer also pointed out thatPakistan''s fortunes will, to an extent, depend on how the nexttwo months pan out for a few individuals, especially Umar Guland Shoaib Akhtar.

"A few individuals will have to play leading roles forPakistan. In the absence of Mohammed Aamer and Mohammad Asif,Umar Gul will have to spearhead the bowling attack. Gul isbowling quick and if he can utilise the reverse swing, he willbe deadly," Akram wrote in his column for espnstar.com.

As far as Akhtar is concerned, Akram said the expressbowler should be used in short bursts.

"I hope Akhtar stays fit throughout the tournament.

Shahid Afridi''s main job is to handle Akhtar well. In a recentinterview, Afridi said he sees a limited role for the veteranpacer. I agree with him.

"Akhtar should be used in short bursts, of about fourovers at the start of the innings, then he can bowl a couplein the middle and then in the slog overs. Because Pakistanneed Akhtar''s pace, short spells will be best. His reverseswing at hostile pace will be really effective," Akram said.


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