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ABDUL Razzaq has compared Worcestershire's struggling batsmen to the run-shy attack of Pakistan.

The all-rounder, who retired from international cricket to protest against his omission from Pakistan's Twenty20 World Cup, will be looking to help Worcestershire to bag some much-needed silverware today when they take on the Northamptonshire Steelbacks in the Pro40 at Kidderminster.

Table-topping Worcestershire are in the driving seat in NatWest Pro40 Division One and will be hoping that the Hampshire Hawks slip up at home to the Gloucestershire Gladiators.

But, while Steve Rhodes' side have enjoyed success in the one-day game, bad luck and poor performances have seen Worcestershire drop back into LV County Championship Division Two after just one season in the top flight.

Razzaq, who was drafted in for the remainder of the season to replace Aussies Doug Bollinger and Phil Jaques, may have been with the Pears for only two weeks but he already has opinions on where Worcestershire are going wrong.

The former Middlesex man has pinpointed the fact that Worcestershire's batsmen lack confidence as one weak spot - and he believes that Pakistan are suffering the same problem.

"From what I have seen at Worcestershire the team are strong with the bat," he said. "They have good openers and good batsmen throughout.

"But the batsmen seem to lack confidence and in some ways that is the same problem as with the Pakistan team.

"In some matches we struggle to get runs and that is down to confidence."

After a break away from the game, Razzaq is now looking to use his time in England to get himself fit for the start of the inaugural Twenty20 Indian Cricket League in October.

So with Worcestershire looking to finish an miserable season on a high and Razzaq looking for some much-needed action, the shortterm deal was ideal for both.

"Coming into the Worcestershire side has been good for me, good for my fitness and good for my skills," he said. "I've played a couple of games and I've enjoyed it. It's all about getting my rhythm back.

"The team have been a bit unfortunate at times in the County Championship but they are doing well in the Pro40.

"I have played in one Pro40 match and I thought we were excellent on the field at bowling, fielding and batting."


WORK: Abdul Razzaq
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Sep 9, 2007
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