Stat Attack: SA’s top award nominees

Blog Opinion

Cricket South Africa will host their gala awards evening on 3 June, with AB de Villiers in line to defend his Cricketer of the Year title, and if it were up to a public vote he'd be a dead certainty.

De Villiers is up for that award, along with four other big names, as well as the ODI Cricketer of the Year, and it would be a rare feat if he could bag the main gong a second year in a row. As it is, he'll have to beat out Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Faf du Plessis, and Hashim Amla.

The award is not decided by the public, unfortunately for AB. There are few cricketers so universally adored, by international players and most fans around the globe, as was evidenced by the online reaction when he scored a blistering century in the IPL.

But what of his efforts during the judging period, May 2014 to April this year? The judges obviously looked across the formats to decided their five picks, which is why they ended up being the core group of Proteas seniors, the ones who are first on any team sheet.

The Proteas played six whole Tests in that time, two against Sri Lanka, one against Zimbabwe, and three against the West Indies. De Villiers scored two centuries and a fifty, and in the same time frame they played 32 ODIs, with AB making four tons and 10 half centuries. He also led the side to their first ever World Cup semi-final.

Amla captained those Test series and the Proteas lost none. He scored a century and a double ton, the one that saved the Test at Centurion, and in ODIs he scored an incredible eight centuries and five half tons. In the four ODIs he played against the Windies this January, he made at least 60 in all of them.

The Proteas only played seven T20s in the required time, losing to both the Aussies and the Windies, but format skipper Faf du Plessis only played three of those, scoring a ton in one of them. In fact, these nominees didn't play the bulk of those T20s.

Faf's success came elsewhere, scoring three Test fifties and a ton, while in ODIs he made four centuries. Three of those came in the tri-series in Zimbabwe, leading to the Proteas' eventual series victory, while he also bagged eight fifties.

Looking at the bowlers nominated, Dale Steyn's 2015 has not been his best in the shorter formats. In 25 ODIs since last April, he took 39 wickets, but a lacklustre World Cup and a poor IPL leaves him a bit down in the minds of the fans.

But Test-wise he was his impressive self. Steyn took 34 wickets in those six games, with 6/34 against the Windies in Centurion his best effort. He bagged two other five-fers, and only went wicketless once, in the first innings in Centurion, so who cares about that?

Morkel, on the other hand, has had a very good year in the shorter formats, and was the Proteas' best bowler at the World Cup. He took wickets in every game he played, only once less than two, and in that thrilling semi-final he bagged three scalps. In Tests he took 28 wickets, and also went wicketless just the one innings.

Amla leads the nominations with three, and one imagines he's the real challenger to De Villiers defending his title. Faf, Morkel, Steyn, and AB all have two noms, though one can see Imran Tahir claiming the ODI award, as he took a nifty 44 wickets.

The stats (April 2014 to April 2015):

AB

Role: Batsman, ODI skipper
Test stats: 6 matches, 438 runs, HS of 152, Ave 54.75
ODI stats: 28 matches, 1610 runs, HS of 162*, Ave 80.50
T20 stats: 1 match, HS of 10, Ave 10.

Amla

Role: Batsman, Test skipper
Test stats: 6 matches, 543 runs, HS of 208, Ave 77.57
ODI stats: 30 matches, 1638 runs, HS of 159, Ave 60.66
T20 stats: 1 match, HS of 22, Ave 22

Faf

Role: Batsman, T20 skipper
Test stats: 6 matches, 451 runs, HS of 103, Ave 50.11
ODI stats: 27 matches, 1241 runs, HS of 126, Ave 51.70
T20 stats: 3 matches, HS: 119, Ave 71.66

Morne

Role: Fast bowler
Test stats: 6 matches, 28 wickets, Ave 18.61
ODI stats: 26 matches, 45 wickets, Ave 25.20
T20 stats: 0 matches

Steyn

Role: Fast bowler
Test stats: 6 matches, 34 wickets, Ave 17.61
ODI stats: 25 matches, 39 wickets, Ave 25.82
T20 stats: 1 match, 0 wickets

Latest