Awards 2011 February 20, 2012

Tendulkar and Bracewell take top awards

ESPNcricinfo staff
Kevin O'Brien and Mitchell Johnson win one-day batting and bowling honours

Sachin Tendulkar and Doug Bracewell have won the Test batting and bowling awards in the fifth annual ESPNcricinfo Awards, announced today.

Tendulkar's 146 in Cape Town early in 2011 came in testing conditions and in the face of some sublime swing bowling by Dale Steyn. Bracewell won in his debut year in international cricket, for his 6 for 40 in New Zealand's historic seven-run win against Australia in Hobart.

Another first for the awards was the victory of an Associate player - Kevin O'Brien, who got votes from 13 out of the panel of 16 jurors, for his nerveless century in Ireland's historic win over England in the World Cup . The ODI bowling award didn't emerge from the global tournament, though there were five World Cup performances among the nominees. Mitchell Johnson won it for his six-wicket haul in Pallekele during Australia's tour to Sri Lanka.

The awards were decided by a 16-member jury that included former players Ian Chappell, Ian Bishop, Ramiz Raja, Kepler Wessels, Geoff Boycott, Martin Crowe, Sanjay Manjrekar and Russel Arnold, and ESPNcricinfo's senior writers. The jurors were asked to pick their top three performances in each category from a shortlist of nominees.

The Test and ODI bowling performances were closely fought. Stuart Broad was the loser by a just a point in both categories - for his 4 for 15 in the World Cup match against South Africa and his six-for, which included a hat-trick, in the Trent Bridge Test* against India. However, he beat Steyn, 2010's Test bowling winner, by six points in Tests and four points in ODIs.

The Test batting category had the widest gap between the winner and No. 2 - six points separated Tendulkar's innings and Michael Clarke's 151, also scored in Cape Town, in the Test in which Australia dismissed South Africa for 96 and were then bowled out in their second innings for 47.

Tendulkar was the No. 1 choice of seven jurors out of the 11 who had him in their top three. O'Brien's figures were the next best, with six No. 1 votes.

Bishop, the former West Indies bowler, said O' Brien's innings was exceptional. "The manner in which it was scored when his team was in the situation that it was… the type of power-hitting showed, the type of fearlessness he showed augurs well for him and his team."

While it was Tendulkar's third ESPNcricinfo Award - he won the ODI Batting performance in 2009 for his 175 against Australia in Hyderabad - and Steyn's second, it was a first for the rest.

Chappell, a former Australia captain, said Tendulkar showed true class during his 146. "He faced 314 balls which is not Tendulkar-like, the strike rate, but these were precious runs. This was another side of Tendulkar, just showing his greatness - his ability to make runs when things were really tough, and he really had to battle."

ESPNcricinfo's readers agreed with the jury's assessment of the Test batting performance but picked Virender Sehwag, Junaid Khan and Shahid Afridi in the other three categories.

* February 20, 2012 07:45 GMT: This article said that Stuart Broad's hat-trick was in the Lord's Test. This has been corrected

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Halliday on February 21, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    Great to see Bracewell pick up best bowling. Ironic that he didn't get man of the match - it went to Warner for his match losing century. Bracewell was a victim of the vodafone viewers vote which is about as relevant as Clarkes post match comments. Warner showed he had more maturity in acknowledging the NZers had won the match and was almost embarrassed at accepting the award.

  • Grant on February 21, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    My word there are some mean spirited posters on here. Of 94 postings before this, how many have been looking back warmly on great performances in our sport over the year and how many have just been abusing players and judges? The interesting thing about thes awards is that they are for single performances so you will get different results than a "player of the year" award. If you disagree, fine, disagree but it doesn't mean the panel is corrupt or the winners deserve your insults.

  • kumaresh on February 21, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    So many messages hating Sachin shows he is the biggest name in cricket and so many envious person around, come on grow up guys pity you!

  • Anindya on February 21, 2012, 2:14 GMT

    Dravid - The real hero, the only hero !!

  • Vrithamani on February 21, 2012, 2:05 GMT

    The jury consisted of Russel Arnold, Ian Bishop, Sambit Bal, Geoffrey Boycott, Daniel Brettig, Ian Chappell, Brydon Coverdale, Martin Crowe, Sanjay Manjrekar, Andrew Miller, Sidharth Monga, Firdose Moonda, Ramiz Raja, Osman Samiuddin, Sharda Ugra,and Kepler Wessels.

    So those who are saying it was an "all India" jury, please wake up and smell coffee!! The award was only for the "best innings", not the best cricketer.

  • Paul on February 21, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    So if Bracewell's performance was the bowling of the year, surely the man who scored an unbeaten century in that same innings deserves the batting performance of the year. But, then, he's not Tendulkar, is he?

  • JIGNESH on February 21, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    The judges of this award, must be all Indians or may be Sachin must have bought this award showing and reminding the world he is still the greatest. Because that 146 runs inning in SA, what else Sachin had done in 2011? @ TheBengalTiger, you mean "that spell" of bowling was the sharpest in history of cricket and other than Sachin, wouldn't have survived? Many batsmen made centuries against that same bowlers in SA. Some batsmen even made triple centuries against same bowling line-up, not in SA, but what difference does it make? If those bowlers are that great then they should be great everywhere, not only in their own country grounds. So, please write something logical so we can digest.

  • Kris on February 21, 2012, 0:38 GMT

    Poor Samaraweera; his country stays too small to merit those people's attention!

  • Jason on February 21, 2012, 0:09 GMT

    Seeing as all these comments are about SRT, I want to congratulate Doug Bracewell on a superb bowling performance. Must be quite proud to have such an achievement in one of his first test matches. As an away win against the neighbouring rivals, after a long test match slump, that match will surely go down in New Zealand cricket history.

  • Ben on February 21, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    We all know that Indians worship the ground Tendulkar walks on. Yes, a great batsmen, one of the greats, no doubt but it adds no credibility to his award when Indian fans rant and rave about why he should have won. You guys would wipe his a*se after a serious bout of gastro with your tongues if he asked you too. Talk about being "fair" and the BCCI in the same sentance, get real.

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