Stats breakdown of ICC Cricketer of the Year nominees

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South Africa's Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander, Australian Michael Clarke and Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara have been nominated for the ICC Cricketer of the Year award.

South Africa's Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander, Australian Michael Clarke and Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara have been nominated for the ICC Cricketer of the Year award.

But what exactly, statistically, have they achieved during the qualifying period, which ran from 4 August 2011 to 6 August 2012, to edge out long-list nominees Alastair Cook, Saeed Ajmal, Virat Kohli and Stuart Broad…?

Keep in mind, when drawing your own conclusions, the independent panel judging panel place more weight on Test performance than statistics accrued across limited-overs cricket.

Beyond the hard and fast numbers, they also take into account "innovation, dynamism, strength in decision-making, performing well under pressure and executing a plan to distinction." Your opinion on the contenders, and our take on them, is welcome at: <B>cricket@365.co.za</b>

<b>Hashim Amla</b><br><i>Tests: 10, Runs: 915, Average: 65.35, Highest Score: 311 not out<br>ODIs: 8, Runs: 419, Average: 52.37, Highest Score: 112<br>T20Is: 5, Runs: 62, Average: 12.40, Highest Score: 33<br>Combined Matches: 23, Runs: 1396, Average: 51.70</i><br>While Amla boasts the smallest number of Test runs among the batting candidates, it could be argued the deficit – 529 less than Sangakarra, 440 less than Clarke – is balanced by the pedigree of his opposition and, more so, trying nature of the conditions.

Sangakkara, not for the first time in his career and probably not the last, proved a flat-track bully in Sri Lanka and the Gulf, while Clarke scored the glut of his runs at home, against an empty Indian unit and inadequate New Zealand outfit.

Amla, however, stood up to a fiery Australian barrage, successfully weathered a chilly New Zealand reception and resigned England's top-ranked attack to lowly figures, so much so that his August-to-August average trumped his career aggregate by some 16 runs.

<b>Vernon Philander</b><br><i>Tests: 9, Wickets: 56, Average: 12.77, Best Bowling: 6/44<br>ODIs: 1, Wickets: 1, Average: 39.00, Best Bowling: 1/39<br>Combined Matches: 10, Wickets: 57, Average: 16.96</i><br>A bowler has only won the ICC Cricketer of the Year gong once, in 2009, when Australia's Mitchell Johnson's value was at its highest (how times have changed…).

Philander, therefore, faces a tough task in convincing an awards selection panel chaired and lined by former batsman, and the odd ex-seamer, of his dues – and upending a shortlist that has only seen one bowler, Dale Steyn, among its nominees since Johnson broke the norm three years ago.

The second fastest bowler to take 50 Test wickets, the fastest to do so in 116 years, and the recipient of six five-wicket hauls in his first seven Tests, there is only so much Clive Lloyd and company can overlook, though.

<b>Kumar Sangakkara</b><br><i>Tests: 14, Runs: 1444, Average: 60.16, Highest Score: 211<br>ODIs: 37, Runs: 1457, Average: 42.85, Highest Score: 133<br>T20Is: 5, Runs: 90, Average: 18.00, Highest Score: 30<br>Combined Matches: 56, Runs: 2991, Average: 47.47</i><br>The nominee with the fattest workload, pipping Clarke's tally by almost a two dozen matches, Sangakkara's 12 months would have been larger were it not for last month's finger injury, which proved a blessing in disguise.

There is no denying his dominance, or overkill, of the sub-continent and similar low and slow conditions in the UAE, which brought him a combined average in excess of 70 against the Aussies, English and Pakistanis.

It's away from home, however, where question marks hang, attested to by a substandard 180 runs in six innings south of the equator. His limited-overs profile for the qualifying period makes for similar reading, and fortifies his love of tarmacs, with his aggregate in Asia better than any of his performances in Oceania and Africa.

<b>Michael Clarke</b><br><i>Tests: 14, Runs: 1355, Average: 58.91, Highest Score: 329 not out<br>ODIs: 19, Runs: 759, Average: 50.60, Highest Score: 117<br>Combined Matches: 33, Runs: 2114, Average: 55.63</i><br>While the opposition was lite and the conditions primed for batting, the runs still needed scoring – Clarke did as much, and then some.

A triple century to welcome the new year and a double ton late that month made utterly destroyed India – and certainly added to their fall from first to fifth in the Test rankings. Big centuries in series-defining fixtures against New Zealand and South Africa, meanwhile, made for a fitting second fiddle. His ODI favour, all the while, didn't falter; India again largely the most hurt victims.

Clarke's record reads all the more impressively, given the added responsibility of the captaincy – and the prowess it takes to perform the dual role without one taking a backseat to the other. While Australia haven't had the greatest year in comparison to, say, South Africa, their skipper seems right on track to repeat his successor and two-time ICC Cricketer of the Year Ricky Ponting's feat.

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