Michael Clarke made four ODI hundreds and one Test century during the voting period © Getty Images
Jan 19, 2014
Michael Clarke may create history by becoming the first Australian cricketer to win the coveted Alan Border Medal, three years in a row.
Sydney Morning Herald reported, Clarke has competition in the form of Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner, all of whom are vying for the medal, which will be given away in a ceremony at Sydney on Monday.
Apart from Clarke, the other cricketers who have won the medal are Watson as well as former skipper Ricky Pointing, both of them who have won it in successive years.
Though Clarke won the medal in the previous two years, still his form over the last year has not been exceptional, which gives the other contenders a chance to win the honour.
The matches to be considered for the voting period are from February 12 2013 to January 20 2014.
Clarke has four Test centuries and an One-Day International (ODI) century to his credit between that period and also averages above a handsome 40 in both formats of the game.
Coming to Watson and the all-rounder has five centuries to his credit, three of them in ODIs and also is Australia’s highest run scorer during that time period.
But, Watson has a lower average than Clarke (34) and also has not lived up to his all rounder billing, with some not so good performances with the ball.
Coming to Johnson, and the left-arm pacer despite playing only six Tests for Australia had a magnificent time with the ball, picking up 37 wickets and if you consider his ODI performances, he becomes Australia’s leading wicket taker during the voting period.
Though Johnson’s compatriot, Ryan Harris, also has an impressive 46 wickets in nine Tests, he still cannot vie for the medal due to his non inclusion in any of Australia’s ODI games during the voting period.
Other players who have shined for Australia during the voting period are Chris Rogers, David Warner, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin and Peter Siddle.
George Bailey, who averaged a massive 75 in 17 innings remains hot favourite for the ODI player of the year award.
All-rounder Faulkner has an outside chance of winning the award, thanks to his recent heroics against England with the bat, which led Australia to an unlikely victory at the Brisbane ODI.
Faulkner has an average of over 40 with the bat and was also the second-highest wicket taker for Australia in ODIs, with the list being led by former ODI player of the year, Clint McKay.
Though Faulkner has only one Test match to his credit, still he has the odds stacked in his favour thanks to him being Australia’s leading wicket taker in Twenty 20 cricket.
Other competitors include opening batsman, Aaron Finch, who has 254 runs at an average of 63.50 in T20’s, with his 156 and 89 against England and India being his more memorable performances.
Amongst the women, players such as Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Megan Shutt are the main contenders to win the Belinda Clark Medal for Australia’s most outstanding female cricketer.
The other medal categories include the Domestic Player of the Year and The Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year sections.