Kevin Pietersen awarded best Test batting performance
Kevin Pietersen and Vernon Philander have won the top honours in the ESPNcricinfo Awards 2012, which celebrate the best individual performances over the last calendar year by batsmen and bowlers in Tests, one-day internationals and T20 cricket.
Kevin Pietersen of England won the test batting performance award for his match-turning 186 against India in the Mumbai test. Pietersen’s decisive innings helped England win the game, and eventually go on to post a series victory – their first in India in nearly 30 years.
ESPNcricinfo, the world’s leading cricket website, announced the awards on March 11. The winning performances were by cricketers from England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and India.
The awards were voted on by a 14-member jury of cricket greats and experts, including Geoffrey Boycott (former England opener), Ian Chappell (former Australia captain), Ramiz Raja (former Pakistan captain), Russel Arnold (former Sri Lanka all-rounder) and Sambit Bal (editor, ESPNcricinfo).
What the jury said about Kevin Pietersen’s award winning performance:
“The beauty of KP’s innings in Mumbai was that it was unlike any other innings played in that Test – completely unique. His strike rate was far, far superior to any other, and it really did look like he was on a different surface. And he handled Ojha brilliantly, which would’ve been a big issue because of his record against left-arm spinners.” Osman Samiuddin
“KP destroyed India with a jaw-dropping display of skill against spin on a vicious turner. It was a unique combination of savagery and elegance. He would count the fielders and then charge the spinners against the spin, over the top, against the line with dazzling footwork. Not only did he win England the game but in the process he played probably the greatest innings by a visiting batsman to India.” Ramiz Raja
OTHER ESPNCRICINFO AWARDS 2012 WINNERS INCLUDED:
South Africa’s Vernon Philander took the bowling award for his 5 for 30 against England at Lord’s, his fifth five-for in the first ten Tests of an extraordinary career. “It is seldom that an individual arrives in the Test match arena with such venomous impact,” awards jury member Peter Kirsten, the former South Africa batsman, said of Philander.
Virat Kohli, who had two performances nominated in the ODI batting shortlist, won for his blitzkrieg 133 not out against Sri Lanka in Hobart, which helped India chase a target of 321 in under 37 overs and kept them in the hunt for the CB Series title.
Sri Lankans won two awards this year: Thisara Perera took the ODI bowling title for his 6 for 44 against Pakistan in Pallekele, and Lasith Malinga the T20 bowling award for his 5 for 31 against England in the World Twenty20.
The T20 batting prize went to Marlon Samuels of West Indies for his astonishing 78 off 56 balls in the World Twenty20 final, a low-scoring match where 13 batsmen made single-figure scores.
The ESPNcricinfo Awards were established in 2007. Previous winners include Virender Sehwag, Dale Steyn, Lasith Malinga and Umar Gul, all of whom have won twice apiece; Sachin Tendulkar leads, with three awards.
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