ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2013: A South Africa show

The players of 2013, as decided by the numbers. Also starring George Bailey, Saeed Ajmal, and Virat Kohli

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
AB de Villiers celebrates his century, South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 5th day, December 22, 2013

AB de Villiers was outstanding in both Tests and ODIs in 2013  •  Associated Press

The Statsguru Awards are based purely on numbers from international matches in 2013. However, they go beyond the usual stats - runs scored, wickets taken, batting averages and such - and are based instead on detailed data analyses of performances. Which batsman played more consistently than any other over the entire year? Which batting pair was the most prolific through the year? Which bowler conceded the fewest boundaries or bowled the maximum dot balls in 2013? Read on to find out. (All ODI and T20I stats include performances against Test-playing sides only.)

Main awards

Batsman of the year
(cut-off: 750 runs in Tests, 750 in ODIs)
AB de Villiers
Test weighted score 66.37, ODI weighted scored 45.01, Total 111.38
Unlike in 2012, when five batsmen scored more than 1000 Test runs, 2013 was a relatively lean year for Test batting, with only two batsmen topping 1000. None went past 1100 in 2013, unlike the previous year, when Michael Clarke scored 1595.
The one batsman who had a significant body of work in both formats, and did really well in each, was AB de Villiers. In 13 Test innings he scored 933 runs, including four hundreds and five fifties; only twice was he dismissed for less than 30 in Tests. In ODIs he was equally dominant, scoring 1163 runs from 26 innings at 50.56 and a strike rate of 97.07, with ten scores of 50 or more. His Test weighted score was 66.37 (average weighted by the number of runs scored, as a ratio of the top-scorer in the year), while his ODI score was 45.01 (average multiplied by runs scored per ball, and weighted by the runs scored, as a ratio of the top-scorer in the year). Ross Taylor had a wonderful year in Tests, averaging 72.16, but played only 13 ODI innings, while Kumar Sangakkara was superb in both formats, but didn't have a big enough body of work in Tests, playing only three Tests in 2013.
Bowler of the year
(cut-off: 30 wickets in Tests, 25 in ODIs)
Dale Steyn
Test weighted score 21.47, ODI weighted score 21.07, Total 42.54
In nine Tests, Dale Steyn took 51 wickets at an average of 17.66; he played only 13 ODIs in the year, but took 27 wickets at an average of 15.85 and an economy rate of 3.65. Despite playing relatively few ODIs, he was still the bowler of the year, for the sheer impact he made whenever he played an international match.
In Tests, Steyn was the third-highest wicket-taker, behind Stuart Broad (62) and James Anderson (52). His Test bowling average, when weighted over 62 wickets - the highest for the year - gave him a Test score of 21.47. In ODIs, his bowling index (product of average and runs conceded per ball) was an outstanding 9.64, but because his wickets tally was way below the year's highest of 59 (by Saeed Ajmal), his ODI weighted score was inflated to 21.07. Adding up the two, his total score was 42.54.
Ajmal was the leading wicket-taker in ODIs and had another solid year in both formats: he averaged 19.86 at an economy rate of 4.04 in ODIs, and took 39 wickets at 27.23 in Tests. Ravindra Jadeja was the surprise package, taking 52 ODI wickets at 25.40, and 30 Test wickets at 19.10, while Mitchell Johnson took 34 Test wickets and 33 ODI ones.
Best Test batsman
(cut-off: 750 runs)
AB de Villiers - 933 runs at 77.75, weighted score 66.37
AB de Villiers wasn't the highest scorer of the year - Michael Clarke and Ian Bell made more runs than him - but he was easily the one who notched up the big scores most consistently. De Villiers scored four Test hundreds in 2013, the joint-highest for the year, with Clarke, but Clarke needed 26 innings for those hundreds, compared to de Villiers' 13. The others who also had an outstanding Test year were Cheteshwar Pujara - 829 runs at 75.36, and Ross Taylor, who scored 866 runs at 72.16.
Most consistent Test batsman
(cut-off: 750 runs)
AB de Villiers - Consistency index 1.85
In 13 Test innings in 2013, de Villiers scored 50 or more nine times, between 30 and 49 twice, and between 13 and 20 twice. He wasn't dismissed for a single-digit score even once in Tests in the entire year. His lack of failures meant his standard deviation - which is a measure of the average distance from the mean - was a comparatively low 42.03. That, combined with his average of 77.75, gave him a consistency index (average divided by standard deviation) of 1.85, which was the best among all batsmen who scored 750-plus Test runs in 2013. The two other batsmen who ran him close were Pujara and Taylor. Pujara had a standard deviation of 58.16, and a consistency index of 1.30, while Taylor's deviation was 57.32, and his consistency index 1.26.
Best Test bowler
(cut-off: 30 wickets)
Dale Steyn - 51 wickets, average 17.66, weighted score 21.47
As mentioned earlier, Steyn was the most potent Test bowler of 2013. A couple of other bowlers took more wickets, but at higher averages: Broad's 62 wickets came at 25.80 each, while Anderson took 52 at 31.82. In terms of averages, Vernon Philander and Mitchell Johnson were outstanding too, but they didn't take as many wickets: Philander took 38 wickets at 18.05, while Johnson rode on his Ashes exploits to take 34 at 17.52. A couple of other performers worth a mention were New Zealand's Trent Boult, who took 46 wickets at 25.08, and Ryan Harris, whose 38 wickets came at 21.94 each.
Best ODI batsman
(cut-off: 750 runs)
George Bailey - ODI batting index 54.76
Bailey was one of nine batsmen who scored 1000-plus ODI runs in 2013, but his stats were the most impressive among them: in 19 innings he scored 1088 runs at 64, and a strike rate of 99.72, with two hundreds and eight fifties. Multiplying his average by his strike rate, and then weighting his runs scored by the highest run-scorer in the format (Virat Kohli's 1268) gives him an overall score of 54.76, which is marginally higher than Sangakkara's score of 53.62 (1201 runs at 63.21 and a strike rate of 89.56), and Kohli's score 51.53 (1268 runs at 52.83 and a strike rate of 97.53).
Best ODI bowler
(cut-off: 25 wickets)
Saeed Ajmal - ODI bowling index 13.37
Not only did Ajmal take more ODI wickets in 2013 (59 against the top sides), he also did so at the fantastic average of 19.86, conceding only 4.04 runs to the over. Steyn had a better average (15.85) and economy rate (3.65), but he played only 13 ODIs compared to Ajmal's 31. Applying weightages for the wickets taken (so that Ajmal gets the maximum weightage for wickets taken and other bowlers get a fraction calculated by the wickets they've taken divided by 59), Ajmal's ODI bowling score (average multiplied by runs conceded per ball) is 13.37. Jadeja, the second-highest wicket-taker in the year, comes in next with a score of 20.89, followed by Steyn's 21.07.


Other awards

Test batting
(Cut-off: 750 runs, unless mentioned otherwise)
Batting pair of the year: openers
(Cut-off: ten innings)
Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith
Among pairs that batted together at least ten times in Tests, the South African pair of Alviro Peterson and Graeme Smith had the best average partnership, of 46.53, with two century stands. Both those hundred partnerships came late in the year against India - 108 in Johannesburg and 103 in Durban. Chris Rogers and David Warner were pipped to second place, as they averaged 43.75 in 12 innings. The disappointing opening pair of the year was England's Alastair Cook and Joe Root: in ten innings they averaged 26.60, with a highest of 68.
Batting pair of the year: others
(Cut-off: ten innings)
Cheteshwar Pujara and M Vijay
In ten partnerships, Pujara and M Vijay put together three century stands - including a mammoth 370 against Australia in Hyderabad - and averaged 79.10 per partnership, the highest among pairs that batted together at least ten times. Rogers and Shane Watson ran them close, averaging 75.50 in ten partnerships, with four century stands. Kane Williamson and Taylor were impressive too, with an average of 61 in 11 partnerships, but though they went past 50 six times, their highest stand was only 95. Pakistan's experienced duo of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan averaged 58.77 in ten stands.
Highest percentage of team runs
AB de Villiers
De Villiers took the honours here as well, scoring 21.33% of the total bat runs made by South Africa in Tests in 2013. He was the only one to score more than 20% of his team's runs in the year. Three others scored more than 19%: Sangakkara (19.98%), Pujara (19.82) and Misbah (19.42).
Most runs in wins
AB de Villiers
South Africa won seven Tests in 2013, and de Villiers played each of them, scoring 708 runs in those Tests at an average of 88.50. No other batsman scored more than 580 runs in wins - the next-best was Warner's 576 runs at 64, while Pujara scored 549 runs in six wins at an average of 78.42.
Best strike rate
David Warner
Warner averaged fractionally less than 40 in Tests in 2013, scoring 909 runs at 39.52, but he got his runs at a brisk pace: his strike rate was 66.78, the best among batsmen who scored at least 750 runs in in 2013. The next best was Watson's strike rate of 60, while de Villiers managed 58.42.
Highest percentage of runs in boundaries
Shane Watson
Watson scored 810 Test runs in 2013, of which 480 were in fours or sixes - he struck 105 fours and ten sixes. His percentage of 59.26 was the highest among batsmen who scored at least 750 Test runs in the year. The next best, somewhat surprisingly, was Ian Bell, who scored 55.32% of his runs in fours and sixes, even though his strike rate was only 42.62 - that means he played plenty of dot balls in 2013. Warner's boundary percentage was 53.91%, but for de Villiers that percentage was down at 45.02, which indicates he worked the field around superbly and scored plenty of ones and twos.
Test bowling
(cut-off: 30 wickets)
Best strike rate
Mitchell Johnson
Among bowlers with at least 30 Test wickets, Johnson's strike rate of 37.5 was the best in 2013 - his 34 wickets came off only 212.5 overs, as he destroyed England in the home Ashes series. Three other bowlers had strike rates of under 45: Steyn (42), Shane Shillingford (43.6), and Vernon Philander (43.8).
Best third- and fourth-innings bowler
(cut-off: 15 wickets)
Shane Shillingford
Shillingford bowled only 46 overs in the third or fourth innings of a Test, but took 15 wickets at an average of 7.26. Johnson was next, with 16 wickets at an average of 16.75, while Stuart Broad took 26 at 19.96. Ryan Harris was outstanding in the opposition second innings too, averaging 20.63, while Steyn averaged 21.34.
ODI batting
(cut-off: 750 runs against the top sides, unless mentioned otherwise)
Best scoring rate
George Bailey
In 1091 balls that Bailey played in ODIs in 2013, he scored 1088 runs, a strike rate of 99.72. He was lucky to play in exceptional batting conditions in the ODI series in India, but he made the most of that chance. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli were next, with rates of 97.89 and 97.53. De Villiers and MS Dhoni were the others who scored 750 ODI runs (against the Test-playing sides) at strike rates of more than 95.
Lowest scoring rate
Ahmed Shehzad
Pakistan's Ahmed Shehzad scored 809 runs off 1125 balls, a strike rate of 71.91, the least among batsmen with 750-plus ODI runs in 2013. Next in line was another Pakistan batsman, Misbah-ul-Haq, who had a strike rate of 72.71. The only other batsman with a scoring rate of less than 75 was West Indies' Darren Bravo, who scored at 74.62 per 100 balls.
Batting pair of the year: openers
(cut-off: minimum 12 innings)
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan
The Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan combination was clearly the stand-out opening pair in ODIs in 2013: in 24 partnerships at the top of the order, they put together 1271 runs at an average of 55.26, and a run rate of 5.38 per over. With a 12-innings cut-off, no other pair got close, though South Africa's Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla had a rollicking time in the ten innings they batted together, scoring 582 runs at an average of 58.20 and a run rate of 5.18. Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kushal Perera added 514 in 13 innings, averaging 42.83 at a rate of 5.91. In terms of partnership index score (the average partnership multiplied by runs scored per ball), Dhawan and Rohit had a score of 49.55, while Dilshan-Perera scored 42.19.
Batting pair of the year: others
(cut-off: minimum 10 innings)
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara
In 16 partnerships, Dilshan and Sangakkara added 987 runs at an average of 70.50 and a run rate of 5.21 per over. Four of their 16 partnerships exceeded 100, including two in successive games against New Zealand in Hambantota. The next best in terms of averages was Kohli and Rohit, who averaged 50.25, while Kohli-Dhawan averaged 43.40. In terms of partnership index score, Dilshan-Sangakkara scored 61.22, followed by Kohli-Rohit (46.65).
Highest percentage of runs in boundaries
Shikhar Dhawan
Four Indians dominate this list, and are the only ones with more than 50% of their total runs in boundaries in 2013. Leading that list, by a fraction, is Dhawan, who struck 146 fours and nine sixes in ODIs in 2013, scoring 54.91% of his runs from fours and sixes. He pipped Rohit - who scored 54.85% of his runs in fours and sixes - to second place. Rohit in turn was fractionally ahead of Dhoni, whose percentage was 54.71, while Virat's was 52.68.
Lowest dot-ball percentage
AB de Villiers
For the second year in row, de Villiers won this one by a distance. Last year he had a dot-ball percentage of 37.04, well ahead of the second-placed Angelo Mathews (40.41). This year, his dot-ball percentage was 41.40, while the next-best was Bailey, with a percentage of 46.75. The highest dot-ball percentage was Ahmed Shehzad's 59.20, followed by Rohit's 57.77.
Highest percentage of team runs
Kumar Sangakkara
Last year Sangakkara was the highest run scorer in ODIs, but Kohli scored a higher percentage of team runs; this time, Sangakkara is the third-highest for the year, but he scored 20.26% of Sri Lanka's bat runs, the highest among all batsmen. The next-best was George Bailey's 20.10%, while Misbah-ul-Haq scored 19.39% of Pakistan's runs.
Most runs in wins
Shikhar Dhawan
Dhawan and his opening partner, Rohit, were the only two batsmen to score more than 1000 ODI runs in wins. Dhawan shaded it in terms of runs - 1051 to 1016 - and had the strike rate too - 100.09 to 84.73. Rohit had a marginally better average, though - 67.73 to 65.68. Kohli was next with 975 runs in wins, more than 200 runs clear of the next-highest, Mohammad Hafeez's 754.
Most runs in chases
Virat Kohli
Kohli has been recognised as the master of the chase in ODIs, so it's no surprise that he scored the most runs in chases for the second year in a row. Last year he scored 722 runs at 80.22 and a strike rate of 98.36; this year he aggregated 825 at 68.75, at a strike rate of 102.73. The next-highest was Rohit's 731 runs at 52.21 and a strike rate of 79.45.
ODI bowling
(cut-off: min 150 overs, or 25 wickets)
Best economy rate
Dale Steyn
In 117 overs, Steyn had an economy rate of 3.65, which was the best in 2013. Pakistan's two offspinners were up there too, as usual: Saeed Ajmal had an economy rate of 4.04, second among all bowlers, while Hafeez came in fourth with 4.32. In between was Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath, with a rate of 4.07.
Worst economy rate
Dwayne Bravo
Bravo leaked 902 runs in 904 balls, an economy rate of 5.98 per over, the worst among bowlers in 2013. The redeeming factor was that he took 33 wickets in 22 matches, averaging 27.33. Similarly, Mitchell McClenaghan took 40 wickets from just 15 matches at an average of 19.02, but leaked 5.70 per over, the second-highest economy rate for the year. His strike rate of 20 balls per wicket, though, was the best.
Best dot-ball percentage
Dale Steyn
The fast bowlers dominated this one, which isn't surprising given that they bowl more overs during the Powerplays, when most fielders are closer to the bat and hence preventing singles. Steyn had a dot-ball percentage of 68.47%, followed by Morne Morkel's 66.06%, while Mohammad Irfan was third at 64.34. The first spinner was at No. 8: Sunil Narine at 60.54%.
Lowest boundary percentage
Rangana Herath
The spinners were dominant in this one, which again isn't surprising as they mostly bowl in the middle overs, when the fields are spread out and batsmen are unwilling to take undue risks to hit boundaries. Herath conceded only 22 fours and 11 sixes in 749 balls, a percentage of 4.41. Next in line was Hafeez, with 5.28% of his deliveries going for boundaries. He was followed by Ajmal (6.15%) and Shahid Afridi (6.64%). The first fast bowler was at No. 6 - Steyn with 6.70%.
Best batsman
(cut-off: 120 balls faced)
Aaron Finch
Against England in Southampton in August 2013, Aaron Finch scored 156, by far the highest score in a Twenty20 international innings - the next-best is 123. It was also the only T20I century for the year. Finch played six T20I innings in 2013, and didn't go past ten in four of those innings. However, in the other two he scored 156 off 63, and 89 off 52. That was enough to win him the batsman of the year award. His runs per innings for the year - a departure from averages, to do away with the influence of not-outs in a format where few matches were played in the year - was 43.66, while his strike rate was 194.07. Multiplying the runs per innings with the strike rate - with a 1.1 factor for strike rate, given its importance in the format - Finch's score was 90.55, well clear of Alex Hales, who scored 35.29 runs per innings (247 runs in seven innings) at a strike rate of 153.41. His batting score was 56.50.
Best bowler (cut-off: 20 overs)
Sachithra Senanayake
Senanayake played only six Twenty20 internationals in 2013, but was extremely effective, taking 10 wickets at an average of 12.20 and an economy rate of 5.30 per over. Multiplying his bowling average with the runs conceded per ball, with a 1.1 factor for economy rate, Senanayake's bowling score was 10.64. Next best was Sunil Narine with an average of 13.50 and an economy rate of 5.40 (bowling score 12.02), followed by Imran Tahir (average 15.57, economy rate 5.19, score 13.27).
Best batting pair
(cut-off: five partnerships)
Alex Hales and Michael Lumb
England's opening pair of Hales and Michael Lumb nailed this one, with 377 runs from seven partnerships, including two century stands. Their average run rate in those stands was 10.42 runs per over. The only pair that came close to those numbers was Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad, who scored 260 runs in five innings at a run rate of 9.12.
Most dominant: Tests
South Africa
South Africa won seven out of nine Tests they played in 2013, winning home series against New Zealand, Pakistan and India, and drawing the series in the UAE against Pakistan. India were next best with a 6-1 record, with all their wins coming at home as well.
Most dominant: ODIs
India had the best win-loss ratio for the year in ODIs, winning 22 and losing only ten, giving them a win-loss ratio of 2.20. Bangladesh were next-best with a 5-3 record, thanks to their 3-0 series win against New Zealand at home. Australia came in next with a 11-8 record.
Most disciplined: ODIs
For the second year in a row, England conceded the least number of runs in wides and no-balls per ODI - only 5.85 per match. Bangladesh were next with an average of 6.11, while India gave away 6.35, Australia 6.52, and Sri Lanka 6.57. At the bottom of the pile were Zimbabwe (10.86) and South Africa (10.54). Most of the teams were pretty good in keeping the no-balls in check, thanks to the free-hit rule, but New Zealand struggled in that regard, giving away 26 in 19, an average of 1.37 per match. Apart from Zimbabwe, for all the other teams the average was less than 0.7. In terms of wides, South Africa were the most undisciplined, conceding 282 in 28 games, or 10.1 per match.
Most dominant: T20Is
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka won twice the number of T20I matches they lost in 2013. They started the year strongly in the format, beating Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, and also had wins against South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan later in the year. Despite losing the toss in seven out of eight completed matches they played, Sri Lanka still achieved a 6-3 win-loss ratio, the best among all teams. Pakistan were next with a 7-4 record while South Africa won five and lost three.
All ODI and T20I stats include only performances against Test-playing sides only.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter