In a time when nothing is going well for the master blaster, a piece of good news for his fans has come from an unexpected corner. Sachin Tendulkar’s 146 in Cape Town were judged as the best batting performance in Tests for the year 2011 by the jury of fifth ESPNcricinfo award.
This was a rare inning of Sachin where he showed highest patience of his career under the testing conditions of South African weather and in the face of some sublime swing bowling by Dale Steyn. Former Aussie captain Chappell said Tendulkar showed true class during this innings.
"He faced 314 balls which is not Tendulkar-like, the strike rate, but these were precious runs. This was another side of Tendulkar, just showing his greatness -- his ability to make runs when things were really tough, and he really had to battle," said Chappell.
This performance has bagged him favour from has him seven jurors out of the 11 who had him in their top three. Close second to him was Australian skipper Michael Clarke who brilliantly scored 151 on the same ground of Cape town. In that historic test Australia dismissed South Africa for 96 and were then bowled out in their second innings for just 47.
New Zealander Doug Bracewell won the Test bowling award for his debutant year performance that gave his team a historic seven-run win against Australia in Hobart. He dismissed six Australian players for mere 40 runs.
Jurors did not forget to reward Kevin O'Brien who crafted biggest upset in the world cup by scoring a century against England. His nerveless performance for Ireland got votes from 13 out of a panel of 16 jurors. The ODI bowling award was given to Australia’s Mitchell Johnson for his six-wicket haul in Pallekele against Sri Lanka.
The awards were decided by a 16-member jury that included former players Ian Chappell, Ian Bishop, Ramiz Raja, Kepler Wessels, Geoff Boycott, Martin Crowe, Sanjay Manjrekar and Russel Arnold, and ESPNcricinfo's senior writers. The jurors were asked to pick their top three performances in each category from a shortlist of nominees.