Top-10 Test bowlers in 2011: Ajmal No. 1
It's not just the batsmen who walk away with the cherry. Bowlers too get a share of the limelight after eye-catching performances.
Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal finds himself atop the leading bowlers' list for 2011. Indeed, it's been a golden year for this 34-year-old. The right-arm off-spinner took a career best haul of 6-42 against the West Indies. His brilliance reduced the Windies to 104-9 in the first Test in Guyana. He ended up with magical match figures of 11-111 against his name.
He also took his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests against Sri Lanka and completed 50 international wickets this year.
Rajneesh Gupta presents the leading bowlers in Tests this year.
1 Saeed Ajmal (Pak)
Note: All statistics updated up to and including the Johannesburg Test between South Africa and Australia.
Image: Saeed Ajmal
Ishant's brilliance against Windies gives him second spot
India's Ishant Sharma is a close second, just a wicket behind. The Team India speedster bagged his 100th Test wicket on the third day of the second Test in the West Indies. He got rid of West Indies captain Darren Sammy for his 100th wicket. He also became the third youngest Indian and fifth in the world to take 100 Test wickets.
His career-best 6-55 also came in the same match.
Ishant had a commendable performance against the West Indies when India toured the Caribbeans earlier this year. He captured 10 wickets, giving away 108 runs in 41.2 overs bowled in both innings of the second Test at Kensington Oval. It was the sixth best Indian performance in away Test matches.
2 I Sharma (Ind)
Image: Ishant Sharma
Young Bishoo spins himself into record books
The Test series between Bangladesh and West Indies helped the Windies players find their names in the record books once again.
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo grabbed 5-90 as the West Indies trounced Bangladesh by 229 runs in the second Test in Dhaka and sealed the series 1-0.
It was the youngster's maiden five-wicket haul.
3 D Bishoo (WI)
Image: Devendra Bishoo
Anderson impressive at Lord's
James Anderson was the pick of the English bowlers in the first Test against India at Lord's. He finished with impressive figures of 5-65, registering his second five-wicket haul against India -- his 11th in Tests.
4 JM Anderson (Eng)
Image: James Anderson
Broad rises to the occasion
England pacer Stuart Broad took a hat-trick in a career-best 6-46 against India in the second Test at Trent Bridge and became the 12th English bowler to take a hat-trick in Tests against India.
In the same Test, he triggered a collapse and got England back in the match with a superb spell.
5 SCJ Broad (Eng)
Image: Stuart Broad
Herath's performance in vain
Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath finished with remarkable figures of 7-157 against Australia in the third Test on an unhelpful pitch in Colombo.
Test, His last wicket in the Test gave him 100 Test scalps in 29. Australia, though, went on to claim the series 1-0 after a draw in the match.
6 HMRKB Herath (SL)
Image: Rangana Herath
Quickie Edwards drives West Indies
West Indies' Fidel Edwards grabbed five wickets and was the main destroyer of Bangladesh, returning 5-63 in the innings, in the second Test at Mirpur.
Fidel grabbed five wickets for 58 runs from 12 overs to leave Bangladesh wobbling on 204 for seven, replying to West Indies' first innings total of 355 at the close on the second day.
7 FH Edwards (WI)
Image: Fidel Edwards
Sammy stands tall
Darren Sammy will not forget the first Test against Pakistan, in Guyana, in May, where wickets just tumbled.
Though he was the man-of-the-match for his fourth five-wicket haul, the match recorded 20 LBW decisions.
Also, it was the first Test that his team won since beating England in Jamaica, 17 Tests ago in February 2009.
8 DJG Sammy (WI)
Image: Darren Sammy
Gul keeps selectors' faith
The selectors recalled Pakistan paceman Umar Gul and he did not disappoint.
Gul took 4-61 for match figures of 8-148 in the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington, in January.
With a second chance, he just showed that the selectors were right in keeping faith in his capabilities.
9 Umar Gul (Pak)
Image: Umar Gul
Praveen cashes in on opportunity
Praveen Kumar had missed the World Cup bus, but didn't sulk over it.
He was given a chance in the away series against England and went on to write his name in the annals of Test history as he became the 18th Indian cricketer to have his name up on the Honours Board at Lord's cricket ground on Day 2 of the first Test.
He finished with figures of 5-106 from 40.3 overs.
P Kumar (Ind)
Image: Praveen Kumar
Swann has the last laugh
Graeme Swann chose the timing perfect that makes his presence felt in the series against India. He took 6-106 and engineered India's collapse.
Riding on Swann's performance, England beat India in fourth Test at The Oval to win series 4-0 and complete India's humiliation.
It was Swann's first five-wicket haul against India, his 11th in Tests.
GP Swann (Eng)
Note: All statistics updated up to and including Johannesburg Test between South Africa and Australia
Image: Graeme Swann