Dominic Cork and David Fulton pick their best cricketer of 2012
Last Updated: January 3, 2013 4:01pm
Who was the best cricketer of 2012? Sky Sports News has narrowed the short-list down to 10 players - and now it's time to have your say on our poll on skysports.com.
To help you make up your mind, we've enlisted the help of former England all-rounder Dominic Cork and former Kent captain David Fulton, who have run the rule over the leading bowlers and batsmen respectively.
Check out their views - and their thoughts on the players to watch in the coming year - then have your say in our poll and by filling out the feedback form at the bottom of the page.
Corky's best bowlers of 2012
JAMES ANDERSON (48 Test wickets for England in 2012 at 29.50): "He's very important for England because as an individual he leads from the front. He has experience and he also helps the individuals who come into the side. Anderson understands conditions well, home and away; he was superb in India. For a seam bowler to go out there and bowl the way he did was superb and that's what England will need to reclaim the World No 1 spot because it's not going to be easy."
MONTY PANESAR (33 Test wickets for England in 2012 at 26.03): "It was strange that Monty missed the first Test against India. I never understand it; it's always an England way of trying to be a little bit defensive. They should have definitely have gone in with him in the first Test. If he doesn't take wickets he can tie up an end and a captain can look at him say 'if we're not getting wickets we can squeeze them and put pressure on the opposition'. That's why Panesar and Swann work well together."
VERNON PHILANDER (43 Test wickets for South Africa in 2012 at 21.11*): "He performs well when the ball is slightly swinging so he's good in English conditions. He's a typical English-type seam bowler; he gets his wrist behind the ball, gets close to the wicket and makes batsmen play - and takes crucial wickets. The reason South Africa have got to World No 1 is because they've got Philander, Steyn and Morkel in the same side."
DALE STEYN (39 Test wickets for South Africa in 2012 at 29.71*): "On stats you'd say Steyn is the best bowler in the world but it's hard to split him and Anderson. This guy gives you raw pace, aggression and he can swing the ball. He can bowl reverse swing in Asia, too. The captain, Graeme Smith, has got a leader in Steyn. When the wicket gets flat, Smith can turn to Steyn and say 'right, you give me five overs of pace here. Lead us from the front.' That's why he's one of the best in the world at the moment."
GRAEME SWANN (59 Test wickets for England in 2012 at 29.93): "You need somebody in there to relax everybody and that's what Swann does. But when it gets to serious-time and cricket-time, he gives you a lot of experience. He understands his action, he spins the ball. Can we imagine that an English spinner can out-spin India's spinners in their conditions? Well, he did. Along with Panesar, he was one of the best bowlers in the series. It's fantastic for England that we've got spinners, but what we want is spinners who can do it in all continents and that's what he does well. He and Panesar work well as a pairing and that's why England will be No 1 in the world again."
David's best batsmen of 2012
HASHIM AMLA (1,064 Test runs for South Africa in 2012 at 70.93*): "He's been extraordinary. I've seen Dominic Cork's five bowlers but my five batsmen are going to put them to the sword, with Amla - a man whose bat is almost as wide as his beard - at the forefront. He scored 31no1 at the Oval against England; his Test record is extraordinary - he's scored over 1,000 runs averaging in excess of 70, with four hundreds including that triple. There are a couple of fifties in there to boot. He's also the third-ranked Test batsman in the world but also the top-ranked one-day international batsman; he's scored 678 runs in the one-day game this year at an average of over 84 with two hundreds and four fifties. He's an extraordinary player who just goes on and on; he's very wristy, very languid and he's got an incredible temperament and appetite for runs."
MICHAEL CLARKE (1,595 Test runs for Australia in 2012 at 106.33): "Like Alastair Cook, Michael Clarke has taken the burden of captaincy on and thrived. He scored a triple hundred against India at the beginning of the year. Clarke's got five hundreds - three of them have been doubles, one of them has been a triple and he's averaged 106 in Test cricket. It has been an absolutely extraordinary season. He's just so strong. He does struggle with one or two niggles - his back is always plaguing him - but I think that as we build towards the Ashes this summer, the head-to-head between Clarke and Cook is going to be fascinating."
ALASTAIR COOK (1,249 Test runs for England in 2012 at 48.03): "Credit to the England set-up; the succession planning means that it has been very much a case of evolution, not revolution after Andrew Strauss ducked out at the right time. Cook is in his prime now; at 28 years of age, he should go on and on. He had this incredible record where he had five hundreds in five Tests as captain. He got a couple of poor decisions in Nagpur, otherwise he might have continued. He's incredibly tough mentally. This will be a tough series out in India, but he's risen to every challenge that's been thrown at him. He is a batting machine - he's England's Amla."
VIRAT KOHLI (689 Test runs for India in 2012 at 49.21): "He's had an extraordinary year, particularly in the one-day game where he's averaged just over 60 with five hundreds. He's very much the new kid on the block and we can expect him to dominate for the next 10-15 years. Sachin Tendulkar is towards the end of his career and we've seen the likes of Rahul Dravid retire; this is the new generation and very much typifies how India have put one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket to the forefront. Kohli has only played 14 Test matches but he's played 91 ODIs. England will see a lot of Kohli over the next month!"
KUMAR SANGAKKARA (767 Test runs for Sri Lanka in 2012 at 51.13): "He has been as consistent as always; he's a lovely man, a very intelligent man - a senior statesman. He has played 115 Tests and 337 ODIs and scored over 10,000 runs in both. This year he averages over 50 in Test cricket with a couple of hundreds and three fifties and he's the leading run-scorer in ODI cricket in 2012 with nearly 1,200 runs averaging towards the mid-forties with three hundreds and six fifties. Don't forget that he's kept wicket for a lot of those games as well. We think of Adam Gilchrist as possibly being the best wicketkeeper-batsman of the modern generation, but Kumar Sangakkara is not too far behind."
* Statistics right as of January 3 2012
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