Sunday, March 09, 2014
Updated: Sunday, December 09, 2012
|A Warrior Gone Unsung|
In the context of present-day technological advancements, a modern day cricketer with unprecedented success and commendable consistency going barely noticed in the ever-alert media is no less than an irony. Fans in general, too, have tended to underrate this particular person despite his vital contributions with the ball time and time again. The person is none other than Abdur Razzak.
For a team heavily reliant on slow left armers, Abdur Razzak, who himself is a slow left armer as well, has been, unarguably, one of the most consistent bowlers in the Bangladesh National team. Despite being overshadowed by his compatriot veteran Mohammad Rafique early in his career and then by a dominant Shakib Al Hasan in the latter, he has lived up to his potentials and has cashed in almost every time the team has called upon him.
30 years and counting, Abdur Razzak is currently Bangladesh's senior-most player and has been a regular in limited overs cricket for the last 4 years. His journey has not been smooth by any means as he was reported for suspect action twice in his career; once in 2004 after a match against Pakistan and then in 2008. He came back strong soon after as he got picked for team Bangladesh in the ICC World Twenty20 in England. Since then, he has had a fair run with the ball having picked 82 wickets in just 55 matches at a commendable average of a tad below 27 that included two 5-fers in the ODIs. (1)
Albeit ups and downs, his track record has been impressive all throughout. He still remains as Bangladesh 's highest wicket taker by a fair margin in the ODIs and T20Is having 193 and 35 scalps to his name in the formats mentioned respectively. In terms of strike rate, amongst the left arm spin bowlers who have picked more than 100 wickets in ODIs, Abdur Razzak is only second to Brad Hogg of Australia having picked a wicket in almost every 37 legitimate deliveries he has bowled. (2) He is one of the two Bangladeshi bowlers to have a hat-trick under their name in the ODIs, the other being Shahadat Hossain.
Abdur Razzak's Bowling Record
While Abdur Razzak's ODI stats have been boosted by Zimbabwe's lack of skills in deciphering his uncanny bowling, he has done fairly against other test playing nations as well. 96 wickets in 84 matches at an average of 37.51 against test playing nations excepting Zimbabwe may not look mouth-watering but in the context of his teammates' performances, they are noteworthy. In T20Is, Razzak has played most of his games against top teams and his average of 17.02 remains as one of the best in the world if a minimum qualification of 25 wickets is taken into account.
Although on a different script, Abdur Razzak's dismal performance in Tests have not gone unnoticed. Despite having a remarkable first-class career that has brought him 240 wickets in only 61 matches at an acceptable average of 27.67, he has failed to capitalize in the International format. Nevertheless, it takes very little away from his fantastic limited overs career.
The following table of comparison gives a very clear idea of Abdur Razzak's consistent performance in the ODIs.
ODI Statistics of Notable Slow Left Armers (Bowling)
Amongst the slow left armers, Daniel Vettori, who has been New Zealand's prime bowler for a long time has been the most successful. Abdur Razzak's counterpart Shakib Al Hasan has done decently. Robin Peterson and Rangana Herath could not establish themselves as successful ODI bowlers. While Herath's Test figures have been impressive of late, Peterson hasn't done much of note. Vettori and Shakib have had fair share of spotlight over them as deserved. Their successes in the batting department helped their cause. As for Abdur Razzak, he is more of a specialist bowler with very limited batting capabilities. Besides that, both Vettori and Shakib have been captains for their respective teams unlike Abdur Razzak. These reasons have accredited to Abdur Razzak's performances going barely noticed.
As far as present form is concerned, Abdur Razzak is going strong. In the last 5 ODI matches he has played, his tally of wickets sum up to 12 at a daunting average of 13.5. (5) His fielding has been something he can still improve on but his bowling form, experience and not to mention, expertise makes him an automatic choice for the current Bangladesh ODI squad.
On the verge of his 200th wicket in the ODIs, Abdur Razzak may very well look back and cherish notable wins of which he has been a part of. Now that Bangladesh have started to gel up as a team and have started to win more consistently, the country will look forward to the senior statesmen; the likes of Abdur Razzak to lead more and more from the front with performances and take Bangladesh to a position of respectability.
Abdur Razzak Facts
All links from Cricinfo Statsguru
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