Today, the ICC announced that Michael Clarke will be awarded the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for winning the Cricketer of the Year award. He has been phenomenal with the bat, in Test cricket during the consideration period – from August 2012 to August 2013, especially considering he was leading a depleted Australian side, with the retirement of many experienced players, and a side that had lost that winning feeling. However, the argument against Clarke is that, as good as he has been in test cricket, his ODI record is hardly anything to boast about, and he does not play T20 cricket.
There have been others like Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn who have been terrific across the three formats and probably deserve the award more than Clarke. Here is a consolidated list of 5 players who arguably deserved the top honour more than, or as much as Clarke.
1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Dhoni’s prowess as a top Limited-Overs cricketer was never in doubt, but his very place in the Test side was being questioned, let alone the captaincy of it. But, Dhoni let his bat do the talking, and very symbolically, with his performances, has shut the critics up for the moment. After the series was lost to England, in which Dhoni made a couple of important half-centuries that prevented India from facing further embarrassment, Dhoni made an emphatic statement in the first Test against the Aussies at his adopted home ground in Chennai. With adoring fans roaring on, the Super King powered his way to a brilliant counter-attacking double hundred, as he set the tone for India to win the series 4-0. Dhoni has always been consistent in ODI cricket, as a career average of 50+ suggests. This year has been no different for Dhoni. The final of the tri-series in the Caribbean just asserted Dhoni’s prowess as an ODI batsman as he stretched the game until the very end, and then exploded against Shaminda Eranga to give India victory.
The fact that India had lost none of the series they’d played in 2013 till the ODI series in South Africa just proved that Dhoni’s performances were mostly on successful occasions for the team as well.