Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Dale Steyn have won the top awards in the fourth annual ESPNcricinfo Awards, announced in Bangalore.
The other winners were Umar Gul, Michael Hussey and Tim Southee.
Awards are for the following categories -
- Best Test Batting Performance: VVS Laxman (India) - 96 v South Africa, 2nd Test, Durban
- Best Test Bowling Performance: Dale Steyn (SA) - 7 for 51 v India, 1st Test, Nagpur
- Best ODI Batting Performance: Sachin Tendulkar (India) - 200 not out v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Gwalior
- Best ODI Bowling Performance: Umar Gul (Pakistan) - 6 for 42 v England, 3rd ODI, The Oval
- Best T20 Batting Performance: Mike Hussey (Australia) - 60 not out v Pakistan World Twenty20 semi-final, St Lucia
- Best T20 Bowling Performance: Tim Southee (New Zealand) - 5 for 18 v Pakistan, first Twenty20, Auckland
Laxman won the Test batting award for his 96 on a seaming pitch in Durban, while Steyn took the bowling prize for his 7 for 51 against India in Nagpur on a flat batting track. That both players overcame unfavourable conditions and led their teams to historic wins was important in their beating some impressive competition.
The one-day batting award also went to a performance from an India-South Africa game: Sachin Tendulkar's remarkable unbeaten double-hundred in Gwalior, the first in the 40-odd years of the existence of the format.
It brought Tendulkar his second consecutive win in the category. He won last year for his monumental 175 in a lost cause against Australia.
Tendulkar's and Gul's performances were ranked No. 1 by 10 jury members, Steyn's by eight and Laxman's 96 by five.
This contest reflects that the rivalry of India-SAwas the key contest of the year.