ESPNcricinfo Awards 2012 March 11, 2013

Pietersen and Philander take Test awards

ESPNcricinfo staff
Kohli, Perera, Samuels and Malinga take ODI and T20 prizes

Kevin Pietersen's 186 against India in Mumbai has been voted the top Test batting performance of 2012 in the sixth annual ESPNcricinfo Awards, announced today. Vernon Philander took the Test bowling award for his five-for against England at Lord's.

Pietersen's innings was instrumental in England turning the Test series around after their loss in the first match; they went on to win the series 2-1, their first series win in India in nearly 30 years. Philander's 5 for 30 was his fifth five-wicket haul in the first ten Test matches of an extraordinarily prolific career. Geoff Boycott, one of the judges, said: "It was the importance of the occasion that made his performance special. The No. 1 and 2 teams were playing, he picked the top batsmen first up and grabbed the initiative. It put England on the back foot right away."

The one-day batting award went to Virat Kohli for his unbeaten 133 in India's chase of 320 against Sri Lanka in the CB Series. The innings was an 86-ball blitzkrieg that kept India alive in the CB Series when they achieved a target of 321 in under 37 overs.

The ODI bowling award was taken by Thisara Perera for his 6 for 44 against Pakistan in Pallekele, in which he took wickets with the first balls of three spells, leading Sri Lanka to a 76-run win.

The T20 winners were Marlon Samuels for his 78 in the World Twenty20 final against Sri Lanka, a match where 13 batsmen made single-digit scores; and Lasith Malinga's 5 for 31 against England earlier in the tournament.

The awards were decided by a 14-member jury that included former players Rahul Dravid, Ian Chappell, Ramiz Raja, Geoff Boycott, Sanjay Manjrekar and Russel Arnold, and ESPNcricinfo's senior writers, who all picked their top three performances in each category from shortlists of nominees.

Saeed Ajmal, who became the first player in the history of the awards to be nominated in all three bowling categories, did not win an award, though he swept the readers' choice category.

Save for Malinga, who won the ODI bowling award in the inaugural year of the ESPNcricinfo Awards, in 2008, the other winners are all first-timers. In the six-year history of the awards, Virender Sehwag, Lasith Malinga, Umar Gul and Dale Steyn have each won two awards; Sachin Tendulkar tops the table with three wins.

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  • shashwata on March 13, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Why is it that all hell breaks loose if aseamer is not able to bowl well on dry, turning spin friendly wickets while it isn't quiet the same if spinners struggle on seam friendly wickets.Atleast this is just the case with Ajmal.After all the chants about him being a great "mystery" bowler,the fact remains that all of his success has been on spin friendly wickets.Even his 10 wicket haul in SA,although a very good effort was on a spin assisting wicket.But in the other matches he appeared pretty ordinary and certainly no "mystery man".I am in no way implying that he is not a good bowler but definitely overrated.Swann is the best spinner at the moment as he gets wickets all around the world.

  • Srinivas on March 12, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    Du Plessis and his marathon on debut at Adelaide? I think that shaded anything and everything related to Test batting this year.

  • Phillip on March 12, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    @Greatest_game,soso killer,surlycynic-Why do you post immature stuff & bash other teams players & performances?Being a big SAfrican fan myself;I couldn't care less,if our players aren't even nominated.This is so trivial men.As long as we stay at the top & out of controversy then fine. By such juvenile remarks you'll are certainly spoiling the name of your teams fellow fans & unnecesarily inviting the wrath of foriegn fans.

    Remember there is a Champions Trophy coming up.If we get knocked out in classical style-------------------------------------I don't expect anyone to have sympathy for us. Leave this arrogant rants to the fans of other countries.We are no.1.Lets maintain that high standard in our views & opinions.

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    WTH why Umar Gul's heroic performance in T20 against SA is neglected. why Nasir Jamshed is out of equation when he hit back to back hundreds against India?

  • j on March 12, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    No award for Nathan Lyon? Now there's a surprise.

  • James on March 12, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    @Greatest_Game you have fallen into the unfortunate trap of quoting stats when trying to back up your argument. This award isn't about stats, its about an individual performance in a match situation, on a particular surface, within the context of a series. We are all totally convinced that Amla has had a wonderful year alongside the SA team and has had some great performances, but KPs innings should not be denied. I promise you if you had watched the innings and the series you would not be questioning it so strongly. Amla maybe batsman of the year but KP's was the iconic innings.

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    why are we worried who gets the awards. I know how good amla is and how KP plays. I don't think Amla is worried about that award. He just want to score runs for his team and keep on winning. They could give that award to chris martin. who cares. Stop crying over nothing.

  • greig on March 12, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    Absolute farce that KP got this award by the the way. It shouldve been Hashim Amla who is far more consistent, scores tougher runs and at a better rate. Well done ECB and BCCI on this one.

  • greig on March 12, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    Well done, best batsman and best bowler in Tests were both South African. Im pleased.

  • shashwata on March 12, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    @Greatest_Game I bet you haven't WATCHED KP's innings(and I do not mean the highlights) and that is why you are questioning his award.My advise would be that you grab hold of it as soon as possible.It was a pure treat.Stamped with class and grit.I have seen Amla's 311* and 196 and in no way am I demeaning his performances.Infact I am one of the most surprised people when it comes to his not winning awards.I do agree that the Indian attack was far weaker than Australia's but the Mumbai wicket was seemingly a more difficult one to bat on and Pitersen has been known for his problems against left arm spin.Also Eng was thrashed in the first match while SA were not so the momentum shift for Eng was more necessary.Moreover the mere authority with which KP played and made the bowlers ball where he wanted them to does justice to the decision.Not to mention that it was a day 3 wicket which turns alot in Mumbai .One of the best innings on Indian soil by a touring batsman.