Abdul Razzaq, the retired Pakistan all-rounder, seems to be quite jealous of the cricketers India can boast these days. Or at least, he seems miffed by the yawning chasm that’s opened up between Pakistan and India. While the former can only boast one game-changer in the form of Babar Azam, the latter's team is brimming with talent - Bumrah, Kohli, Rohit, Shami, Ishant, Jadeja, Ashwin - and Abdul Razzaq just cannot handle it.
Yesterday he downplayed the talents of India’s best bowler - Jasprit Bumrah - calling him a baby, and boasting that he’d have been able to deal with him with utter ease. Never mind that this is a guy with a batting average in the 20s, who has been dismissed by the likes of Munaf Patel - no, we’re meant to believe him when he says that Bumrah’s nothing.
And if that wasn’t enough, he’s now taken aim at Virat Kohli, the best batsman in the world. In a desperate cry for attention, Razzaq has claimed that Virat Kohli is not of a class with Sachin Tendulkar. I mean, sure - Sachin’s the best batsman of all-time, while Virat still has ten good years of cricket left in him. But for Razzaq, he believes that cricket has declined since his generation, in all departments.
In an interview with Cricket Pakistan, he said: "We are not seeing the same world-class players that we played against, say, between 1992 to 2007. T20 cricket has changed the game. There is no depth in bowling, batting, or fielding. It is all basic now. Look at Virat Kohli - when he scores, he scores. Yeah, he is a good player for them and is performing consistently, but I don't place him in the same class as Sachin Tendulkar, who was a different class altogether."
For one, we don’t understand that denigration of Kohli’s skills - “when he scores, he scores,”
In football, there’s a chant for people who do that - “Harry Kane, he scores when he wants,” and here it’s suddenly a measure of how Kohli isn’t a world-class player?
And if he’s using Kohli to describe how the quality of batting has declined due to T20 cricket, again, what?
Kohli, of all modern players - barring maybe Kane Williamson - uses the most textbook cricketing technique there is. If you want to complain about T20’s influence on the game, point to the likes of Andre Russell, or Yusuf Pathan, or any number of ‘T20 specialists’ who do nothing but swing their bats like clubs. Virat Kohli is the worst possible choice for that criticism. If you’ve ever watched him, you’d see his picture-perfect cover drive, one that should be compulsory viewing for budding cricketers across the world; or you’d see a straight drive that would make even Sachin sigh in delight as the ball whispers over the grass on its way to the fence.
This is all a very long way of saying Abdul Razzaq needs to stop, before he embarrasses himself further.