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   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?

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

I think Saeed Ajmal is My Choise

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

bowler is MJ. No discussion needed

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, 6:51 GMT)

You got a point there Shane!

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 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   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 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, 7:31 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.

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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.