Readers' Choice March 11, 2011

An Ajmal sweep

ESPNcricinfo staff
Wins all bowling awards in readers' voting

ESPNcricinfo's readers have picked Saeed Ajmal as the winner in all three bowling categories in the 2012 Awards, in stark contrast to the awards jury, who handed Ajmal no gongs.

The batting awards in the readers' choice segment went to Hashim Amla's 311 against England (Tests), Virat Kohli's 183 against Pakistan (ODIs), and Marlon Samuels' World Twenty20-winning fifty. The T20 batting award was the only one where the jury's selection matched the readers'.

Ajmal's most emphatic win came in the Test bowling category, where he fetched nearly as many votes as the other nine contenders put together. He took 95 wickets in the three formats in 2012, at a combined average of under 20, and his not being picked among the nominees for last year's ICC Awards sparked a furore.

Kevin Pietersen's 186 against India, was the jury's choice for the Test batting award was well down the readers' list, in which Amla's knock was followed by Michael Clarke's triple-century against India at the beginning of the year, Faf du Plessis' remarkable fourth-innings 110 not out against Australia in Adelaide and Azhar Ali's 157 against England.

Kohli was a clear favourite: his two innings on the ODI batting shortlist were Nos. 1 and 2 on the readers' list.

Readers' top three in each category
Test Batting Test Bowling ODI Batting ODI Bowling T20 Batting T20 Bowling
Hashim Amla, 311 v Eng Saeed Ajmal, 7 for 55 v Eng Virat Kohli, 183 v Pak Saeed Ajmal, 4 for 32 v Aus Marlon Samuels, 78 v SL Saeed Ajmal, 4 for 23 v Eng
Michael Clarke, 329* v Ind Monty Panesar, 6 for 81 v Ind Virat Kohli, 133* v Sri Lanka Thisara Perera, 6 for 44 v Pak Yuvraj Singh, 72 v Pak Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 3 for 9 v Pak
Faf du Plessis, 110* v Aus Vernon Philander 5 for 30 v Eng Hashim Amla, 150 v Eng Sohag Gazi, 4 for 29 v WI Mohammad Hafeez, 55 v Ind Ajantha Mendis, 6 for 8 v Zim

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Praful on March 12, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    I agree with gsingh7 comments. Ajmal is good in spinning pitches and unlike Warne, Murli, Kumble he is yet to prove himself in other part of Cricketing world. He is yet to play and take wickets in England, Australia. India (Test) and New Zealand. Infact he was quite average in SL also.

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Virat Kohli's 183 vs Pak was absolutely mind-blowing batting !!! .... The BEST ODI batsmen of 2012.

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    No doubt he has proved himself in all formats of the game. If some one has proved his magic after Shane warne , Saeed Ajmal is the one

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    gsingh7. It would be wise for you to put your brain into gear before making yourself look so, well, ignorant. Ajmal has done well in all three formats and has managed to take wickets in bunches everywhere. His ICC ranking reflects that and his stats are there for everyone to see. Try not to be biased and show some common sense. Lastly, bit disappointed not to see the likes of Clarke, Cook, Amla or Ajmal get the deserved credit. Clarke has been exceptional in recent years.

  • Jawwad on March 12, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    Ajmal is so good even the folks who do not enjoy much of spin bowling are glued and mesmerized by his spin. He often makes batsmen look like deer has seen headlights.

  • Dummy4 on March 11, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    I'm English and I agree with (among many others) keptalittlelow. Ajmal is a genius. It's a delight to see him spinning his web.

  • Zeeshan on March 11, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    Ajmal is no doubt a champion. But considering indivual T20 bowling performance, I would say Ajantha Mendis' 6-8 was the best I have seen.

  • A Shariq on March 11, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    I suggest use this simple formula to decide the best bowling figures (Bowler Ratings) for a bowler in any format:- Bowler Ratings = Number of wickets taken / Strike Rate / Economy Rate, where "/" means "divided by". This should give a normalized, absolute sort of figure, with no ambiguities. The bowler with the highest Ratings is the best:)

  • richard on March 11, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    i can't believe Pietersen's 149 v SA didn't win test knock of the year. It may not have been the highest score, but I have never seen a batsman dominate opposition bowlers the way he did in that innings. Everything the bowlers threw at him, he just smashed the the fence at 5 times the pace, it was an unbelievable innings. When bowlers as good as Steyn, Philander and Morkel are walking back to their marks shaking their heads in disbelief at the shots he was making, you knew that it was a special innings.

  • Hasan on March 11, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    @gsingh7: Do you have any idea of a pitch being spin-friendly or pace-friendly? The pitches in SA aided swing bowling, which is why one wouldn't have expected much from Ajmal. However, the moment he got a pitch suiting him (in Centurion), he made an impact by taking a 10 wicket haul. Even Petersen said that it'll hurt to take those 10 wickets and yet be on the losing side and miss on that MOM award.

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