Steyn, Johnson, Kohli, Ajmal in line for awards

Seventh ESPNcricinfo Awards, honouring the best batting and bowling performances of 2013, to be announced
ESPNcricinfo staff March 14, 2014

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.

Posted by DarthKetan on (March 14, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

@Shane Bond: Agreed - the polls part of it does get biased, but the awards themselves are determined by the jury, so we should be good. On captaincy, yes, I don't think Ganguly should be ahead of Steve Waugh or Imran Khan....don't know enough to comment about Brearley. By the way, if you are THE Shane Bond, really enjoyed your season against Aus..wish injuries/ICL hadn't limited you...You still involved with cricket? coaching bowling?

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 13:48 GMT)

Johnson for demolishing England and South Africa

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

@shane, you have a point mate about the comparison between Mike Bearly and Ganguly, but I think Bearly played some 30 odds test which is too less a number to call him the greatest captain. I can one can be a great captain if you have great players under your belt like Ricky Ponting had, but I call a captain a great one if he can find the greatness in average players to make them extraordinary..like Arjuna Ranatunge did in 1996 or Kapil Dev did in 1983... That's what I call a captain

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 13:09 GMT)

I think saeed Ajmal deserve for ODI bowling award. He is the best spinner at the moment.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 12:53 GMT)

Saeed Ajmal has proved over the years that he is probably the best spinner at this time.MJ performed really well but i think 1 series isn't enough to judge a player.I am not saying MJ is not a good bowler but he has to show good performences elsewhere beside green tops and bouncy tracks.Steyn oh boy you can't forget he can also be winner but i think Steyn or Ajmal should win it.Virat Kohli is the best batsman at present but faulkner's inning was a match winning one and he batted under pressure so he should win it.

Posted by ramz30380 on (March 14, 2014, 12:50 GMT)

I am unsure about MJ as I think he was pelted right left and center by the Indian boys when they toured India for the ODIs - though an Indian fan - my vote for the best limited overs bowler will go to Saeed Ajmal - this guy has performed across the world against good oppositions!

Best bat - cant see beyond Virat Kohlli - he has had a sensational year!

Debutant of the year - Mohammed Shami - he has become India's real bowling spearhead both in SC as well as alien conditions

MS Dhoni's double-century in Chennai - created the platform for the 4-0 whitewash against the Aussies - the fact that he batted with the tail makes this double century special!

Cricketer of this Generation - SRT for the joy and hope he brought to the millions of cricket lovers in India & the world! On performance i think King Kallis is at par though!

Posted by waqas-mazhar on (March 14, 2014, 12:50 GMT)

Ajmal is a wonder of modren cric

Posted by XiTiZ_P on (March 14, 2014, 12:49 GMT)

What about ABD? He has had a great year(rather last 5 years).

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (March 14, 2014, 12:39 GMT)

Tests: Darren Bravo (West Indies) 219 v New Zealand Mitchell Johnson (Australia) 7 for 40 v England

ODIs: Kane Williamson (New Zealand) 189 not out v England Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) 7 for 12 v West Indies

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 12:33 GMT)

The Test bowling category simply has to go to Mitchell Johnson for a summer of the best fast bowling you can ever see. First up he took 38 wickets at 14 against the-then world #2 side then proved the doubters wrong by taking 22 wickets at 17 against the world #1 in their home country! There can never be a more conclusive display of fast bowling skill.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 12:31 GMT)

Johnson for test honours and Ajmal for ODIs. Kohli no doubt for batting

Posted by warnie1969 on (March 14, 2014, 12:26 GMT)

Can somebody explain the rationale behind not selecting Muttiah Muralidaran as a candidate to be the cricketer of the generation? It's beyond belief.

Posted by nickvegas on (March 14, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

Forget it. Johnson has had a once i a decade performance. Can't be ignored despite all your hopes.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 11:19 GMT)

Steyn should be the winner. he is awesome.

Posted by HawksEyeFocused on (March 14, 2014, 11:17 GMT)

Ajmal was the best.....no doubt!!!

Posted by CrapySaysThat on (March 14, 2014, 11:07 GMT)

Being Aussie my heart goes for an Aussie bowler but as an avid watcher of cricket watched almost all main series and would easily say that Ajmal is the best bowler on the scene today as since his inception he is on the top of all three format of the game not just one or helped won one series. He has a class of its own. His videos are shown here in Sydney to the young spinners to let them learn his dusera or gogglis. He is a magician and no one is better than him in the contemporary cricket. Giving someone for one outstanding series would in unfair.

Posted by dogcatcher on (March 14, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

As always these awards come at the wrong time of the year and will focus on the Ashes even though they were a lopsided series forgetting series that took place in the early part of 2013. What about Philander that broke nearly every record going, Smith crucial 200 v Pakistan, Bond, McCullum to name a few. Johnson was devastating in the ashes but really that was the most lopsided contest so therefore why not look at other achievements like Sangakara against Bangladesh. Sorry but these awards become meaningless like the annual Wisdon awards.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

Big three. They will share all the awards that they want. simple as that.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

definitely ajmal deserves as he is bowling on flat wickets and against good opposiitions. johson bowled well but has to prove in subcontinent. batting kohli proved every where stylish batting display. sangakara also missied in list.

Posted by AVIRAL_Ashok on (March 14, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

MJ???? no not at all !!! He was thrashed in both the odis against India and England!!!Ajmal would be one case but when he totally outplayed India in India!!!!!!!And that's the biggest achievement one can ever get!!!!!No other country is as strong as India in ODIs and that even when played in home!!! So he was mind blowing !!! But still I would keep one and only "Virat kohli" in this race. Reason--Ha Ha .the whole world knows that!!!

Posted by jackiethepen on (March 14, 2014, 9:56 GMT)

Bell's ton at Trent Bridge not only held England together but was achieved under great pressure against the powerful Australian bowling attack. It was the first of a series of great performances by Bell culminating in his flawless third century at Chester-le-Street which was chanceless on a difficult pitch again under great pressure after yet another top order collapse. This was an even better century than his first at Trent Bridge and provided enough runs for the bowlers to attack Australia and win the Ashes. Not sure why this century wasn't also nominated and was his finest technically on a low scoring pitch. Bell was the standout batsman of the Series far ahead of any from either side, resulting in his Compton-Miller Medal for Player of the Series. Bell has gone under the radar too long. Achievements of this calibre need to be appreciated. He was shockingly overlooked in 2011 and wasn't even long listed for his average of 118 and 5 centuries. Let's hope some honour is due to him.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 9:02 GMT)

Mitchel Johnson made the batsmen feel that they use Johnson & Johnson products! Without a doubt MJ! Nohit Sharma will get the award for his one big hit! I hope this comment trigger Nohit to be the guy that he is capable off. Shikhar too will get his award.

Posted by KARNAWAT33 on (March 14, 2014, 9:01 GMT)

Mitchell Johnson by some margin. Currently, it is MOJO vs. Rest of the World in Test Cricket.

Cricketer of the Generation: KALLIS ANYDAY.

Posted by pitch_curator on (March 14, 2014, 9:01 GMT)

Test bowling category - MJ for Adelaide spell ODI bowling category - Ajmal v India or Afridi V WI (WI batting is a joke, so it should go to Ajmal) Test Batting - Shikar Dhawan debut innings aganist Aus ODI batting - Faulkner V India. Kohli 100 v Aus is close but Faulkner played under more pressure so that innings should be higher.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

Where are T20I Nominees, Test, ODI are obviously included but T20I are a part of cricket & should be Included.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

virat kohli for best batsman for sure.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 8:03 GMT)

best debutant was most definitely not Simon Kerrigan

Posted by FaisalGhaffar on (March 14, 2014, 8:03 GMT)

Shane Bond ... I totally agree with you, Although I am also from sub-continent but I don't like either Bilawal Bhatti or Shami to receive best debutant award.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

What about Brendon McCullum's 300 against India to win the series?

Posted by disco_bob on (March 14, 2014, 7:56 GMT)

This is a no brainer, it has to be MJ for putting genuine pace bowling back in the public consciousness.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (March 14, 2014, 7:39 GMT)

MJ hands down. Most impact, biggest stage, biggest victory.

Posted by 504429641 on (March 14, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

i remember seeing the list of nominees for best debutant of the year, but i can't find the link now. Going by pure numbers, i remember Matt Machan of Scotland has excellent allround numbers in both batting and bowling.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 7:31 GMT)

@Darth Ketan I didn't say subcontinental fans are manic or fools. You had the best batsman since Bradman, best swing duo and best spinners. No one questions that. My point is somewhere nationalism gets in. Every country may do that not only subcontinental ones. That is why I think a systematic guideline needs to be there. No questioning of the talent of Shami as well. For eg. Mike Brearly wasn't an exceptional player but as people say he had a degree in managing people. He captained England to new heights. Same for Ganguly, he took over a disheartned team and made them good along with some champion players. He is a better player but not a better captain than Mike Brearely. That was my point.

Posted by velsing on (March 14, 2014, 7:28 GMT)

@Shane Bond: There is a difference between the poll and the awards. As i understand, the awards are selected by a jury, and the poll is just to give an indication of what the public thinks.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 7:18 GMT)

test bowler: Johnson (impact he made this year). Test batting: Haddin or Bell and may be Dhoni (again the impact they made on the game, Haddin did it multiple time, Bell's knock was critical & Dhoni in first test of series, if not had made that score, series scoreline would not end in 4-0 for India). ODI batting: Kohli (no debate, he is in form of his life). ODI bowling: Ajmal (magician multiple performances). Other than Test batting I do not see much contest

Posted by absartabish on (March 14, 2014, 7:07 GMT)

I dont understand what are the criteria set by ICC , player scoring runs on dead pitches get the award . But one who scores 70 80 odd on green top is not even considered . Always the ICC awards are under criticism . Players scoring high on home should not be equal to players scoring away . Try to create a line between these facts and there are many other things to be consider.

Posted by symsun on (March 14, 2014, 6:59 GMT)

Johnson will be a sure winner this time. And of-course all three will get 1st place in their own category.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 6:51 GMT)

You got a point there Shane!

Posted by DarthKetan on (March 14, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

It is insulting for people to question the cricketing intelligence of fans from sub-continent. It's not like all past winners have been Indians or Pak or SL only.....We are just as much fans of Kallis, Amla, Steyn, Gayle, KP, Johnson, McCullum.. @ Bond - Of all nominated debutants, Shami has the best record across formats to the extent he is the established leader of that pack....yes, he will win, not because Indians are voting, but because he has the best numbers to deserve it....

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 6:17 GMT)

bowler is MJ. No discussion needed

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 5:45 GMT)

I think Saeed Ajmal is My Choise

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 4:08 GMT)

I don't want to sound like a hurt fool here but why do you guys organise polls when you know that they are bound to be affected by population factor. In best captain's poll Mike Brearly didn't even get 1% of vote and Sourav Ganguly (no disrespect intended) got 24% of votes. I am sure Bilwal Bhatti or Shami will take the award for debutant. This isn't good. Shouldn't you make some guidelines?

Comments have now been closed for this article

About The Awards

The ESPNcricinfo Awards recognise the best individual batting and bowling performances in cricket over the calendar year. They are voted on by an independent jury of former cricketers, commentators, and ESPNcricinfo's senior writers. Previous winners have included Dale Steyn, Virender Sehwag, Shahid Afridi and Kumar Sangakkara.

ESPNcricinfo@20 Cricketer of the Generation

A high-powered jury of cricketers, current and past, cricket writers and commentators picks the player of the last 20 years to cap ESPNcricinfo's 20th anniversary celebrations.

Contribution to Cricket award

This award, the winner of which is nominated by Rahul Dravid, recognises significant contributions to cricket in a non-playing role.

Statsguru Awards

Which batsman was the most consistent over the year? Who was the best bowler in the third and fourth innings? The Statsguru Awards go beyond runs scored, wickets taken, or averages, and are the result of detailed data analyses of performances. ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball data analysis of every international game has answers to these queries and more.