Graeme Swann crowned winner of Winter FTI MVP - 18/04/12
Graeme Swann has won the coveted crown of Winter FTI MVP after taking 10 wickets in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Returns of 4-75 and 6-106 staved off the formidable challenge of Kevin Pietersen, who also enjoyed his best Test of the winter with 193 runs, including a breathtaking 151 off 165 balls in the first innings. Their duel helped England record their only Test victory of the winter campaign, which ensured the team retained the top spot in the world Test rankings.
Swann’s victory was his third title, after wins in 2010 and 2009-10. He finished top of the Test FTI MVP too, after scoring 147 runs and taking 29 wickets. As well as his ten-wicket haul in Colombo, he picked up 6-82 in the second innings in Galle. His best match against Pakistan was the first Test in Dubai where he scored 34 and 39 with the bat and took 4-107. He finished the overall FTI MVP 12 points clear.
Pietersen has rebuffed his critics with three terrific centuries this winter. His first two came in the last two ODIs against Pakistan. Scores of 111 from 98 balls and 130 from 153 announced he was back in form, but in Tests it took the Colombo match for him to return to his best. He scored just 100 runs from his first 8 Test innings of the campaign before firing 193 runs from his next two to finish 7th in the Test FTI MVP. He finished top of the t20 FTI MVP with 165 runs (30% of the team’s total), 3rd in the ODI FTI MVP with 451 runs (23.66% of the team’s total), while his second spot in the overall FTI MVP equalled his best ever finish, which he’d previously achieved in 2008-09 and 2007-08.
Alastair Cook, who won the FTI MVP in the summer as well as the Test FTI MVP in 2010-11 (The Ashes), finished third overall but a huge 42 points behind Pietersen. The England one-day Captain topped the ODI FTI MVP as the leading run-scorer with 456 runs. In the Tests, he twice scored 94 –firstly in the second Test against Pakistan and also in Colombo against Sri Lanka, where he backed up that effort with 49 not out in the second innings in alliance with Pietersen to bring the Test home.
Jimmy Anderson has been England’s most consistent Test cricketer since the inception of the FTI MVP. He finished this Test campaign in second, one better than his summer ranking and equal with his Ashes effort last winter, when he finished behind Cook. He topped the Test FTI MVP in 2010, was second in 2008-09 and third in 2009-10. This winter saw him prosper in far from favourable conditions. His best return, 5-72, came in Galle and he helped England’s cause with top order wickets in Colombo too (3-62). He had a points average of 21.07 points per Test.
Stuart Broad ended the Test FTI MVP in third, despite missing the last Test in Colombo with a calf injury. He scored 138 runs and took 18 wickets with his best points return coming in the second Test against Pakistan, where he made a valuable 58 with the bat and took 4-47. He then improved on those figures with 4-36 in the third Test. Broad’s points per game average in Tests is 24.58.
Monty Panesar only played three Tests this campaign, but he averaged 27.64 points per game having scored 21 runs and taken 16 wickets to finish fourth in the Test FTI MVP. He took 6-62 in the second Pakistan Test and 5-124 in the third. As well as his wicket threat, he also keeps the opponents’ runs in check, as demonstrated by his economy rate of 2.15 runs per over.
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