Steyn, Johnson, Kohli, Ajmal in line for awards
A celebration of excellence
Dale Steyn, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Broad and Saeed Ajmal lead the nominations for the ESPNcricnfo Awards for 2013, to be announced on March 14.
Steyn, Broad and Johnson, the most impactful bowlers of 2013, all bagged two nominations apiece in the Test bowling category - Johnson for his Ashes-defining efforts in Brisbane and Adelaide; Steyn for two six-fors, against Pakistan and India; and Broad for his 7 for 44 against New Zealand at Lord's and the 6 for 50 that took him to a career-best match haul of 11 wickets in the Durham Ashes Test.
The ESPNcricinfo Awards honour the best batting and bowling performances of 2013 in Tests and ODIs. The winning performances are picked by a 22-strong jury that features, among others, Ian Chappell, Martin Crowe, Mark Butcher, Ian Bishop and Daryll Cullinan.
The Test batting nominations list is dominated by performances by and against Australia - including Brad Haddin's 94 in the first Test of the Ashes return series, in 2013-14; Shikhar Dhawan's 187 on debut in Mohali; MS Dhoni's double-century in Chennai; Ian Bell's hundred at Trent Bridge; and Steven Smith's Ashes-clinching century in Perth.
The third individual double-century in ODIs was scored in 2013 - by Rohit Sharma against Australia in Bangalore - and that performance features on the ODI batting shortlist, as does James Faulkner's 64 not out in Mohali in the same series.
Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal had an impressive year, which reflects in his being nominated in both Test and ODI bowling shortlists; also on both bowling shortists are Steyn and Johnson. And Dhoni, Dhawan and Virat Kohli have one performance each on both batting shortlists.
The Debutant of the Year category, which will be decided by votes from ESPNcricinfo users, features Hamish Rutherford, Bilawal Bhatti, Jason Holder, Mohammed Shami and others.
The ESPNcricinfo Awards are in their seventh year, and this year feature a special Cricketer of the Generation award, to mark 20 years of the site's existence. Shane Warne, Jacques Kallis and Sachin Tendulkar are the leading contenders for the title.
Also new this year is a Contribution to Cricket award, the recipient of which is nominated by Rahul Dravid for the honour.
Previous winners of ESPNcricinfo performance awards include Virender Sehwag, Shahid Afridi, Kumar Sangakkara, VVS Laxman and Steyn.