Sydney, Feb 15(ANI): Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has emerged as the man to beat for the Allan Border Medal.
Watson's contributions in both Tests and ODIs in the voting period makes him an obvious favourite for the medal, considered to be the biggest individual prize in Australian cricket.
For a player whose ascent to cricketing success has been often threatened by injury, the 28-year-old has scaled the heights statistically in both Test matches and ODIs, the only forms of the game that factor in voting for the Allan Border Medal.
Watson was the player of the series in the recent Test series against Pakistan, player of the series in the seven one-dayers in India and scored a century in both the semi-final and the final of the ICC Champions Trophy.
According to Fox Sports Stats production manager Sam Mueller, the case for Watson was a strong one, as he has played more cricket than ever in his career over the past 12 months.
"Watson is one of the few players who plays all three forms of the game - Test matches, one-dayers and Twenty20. Since coming into the Test team in the third Test of the Ashes, Watson has averaged 57 with the bat, which is the highest of any Australian batsmen by some way," Fox Sports quoted Mueller, as saying.
"And that's just his batting - his bowling is obviously pretty strong. Watson was the third highest wicket-taker in Australian one-day internationals and took 13 wickets in nine Tests at an average of 29," he added.
Apart from Watson, fast bowler Mitchell Johnson appears to be a strong contender for being Australia's leading wicket-taker with 65 scalps at an average of 28.25 - 22 wickets ahead of Australia's second highest wicket-taker over the same period, Peter Siddle.
Johnson also contributed 485 Test runs at 26.94, including two half-centuries and his first Test hundred. (ANI)