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Rohit Sharma wins ODI batsman of the year

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MUMBAI: Brendon McCullum, Mitchell Johnson, Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga, Alex Hales and Rangana Herath are amongst the winners of the eighth edition of annual ESPNcricinfo Awards for the best batting and bowling performances in Tests, ODIs and T20s in 2014.

The winners were picked by a jury consisting of Rahul Dravid, Ian Chappell, Ricky Ponting, Ajit Agarkar, Russel Arnold, Martin Crowe, Michael Bevan, Mark Butcher, Aakash Chopra, Daryll Cullinan, Michael Holding, Mark Nicholas, Ramiz Raja and Graeme Smith. Also part of the jury were ESPNcricinfo’s senior writers, Sambit Bal, Sharda Ugra, Sidharth Monga, Brydon Coverdale, Mohammad Isam, David Hopps, Osman Samiuddin, Jarrod Kimber, Firdose Moonda, Daniel Brettig, Andrew Fernando and George Dobell.

Winners for each category were picked from shortlists of between nine and 14 performances selected by ESPNcricinfo staff.

Brendon McCullum’s 302 against India was the first triple-hundred by a New Zealander in Tests, and came at the start of a year in which he scored 1164 Test runs.

Mitchell Johnson’s seven for 68 against South Africa in Centurion saw him in arguably more fearsome form than he was during his Ashes-winning performances earlier in the season back home in Australia. It was Johnson’s second consecutive ESPNcricinfo Award in the category.

Rohit Sharma’s 264 against Sri Lanka was his second double-hundred in ODIs (the first won in this category at last year’s ESPNcricinfo Awards), and the third by an Indian, following Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.

Lasith Malinga, who won in the best ODI bowling category for his 5 for 56 in the Asia Cup final against Pakistan, is also a former ESPNcricinfo Award winner.

Both winning performances in the shortest format came from the World T20: Rangana Herath’s 5 for 3 demolished New Zealand in a tournament Sri Lanka went on to win. Alex Hales won the batting award for his 116 not out against Sri Lanka, which came off 97 balls and took England to a six-wicket win.

ESPNcricinfo editor-in-chief Sambit Bal said, “2014 has been an exciting year of cricket and we saw the emergence of some real champions. We want to reward champions who made a difference to cricket through their performances over the last 12 months. Selecting these winners was a daunting task, to say the least, for all the jury members, considering the immense talent that was on display. We wish the winners all the success in the world, and hope they take the gentleman’s game to greater heights.”

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