5 Jan 2011

Shane Watson awarded McGilvray Medal

4:01 pm on 5 January 2011

The Australian cricketer Shane Watson has firmed as the Allan Border Medal frontrunner after receiving the McGilvray Medal as ABC Test cricketer of the year.

But Watson's favouritism says as much about a poor year for Australia as it does about the opener's success.

Watson deserves to be recognised, but his 897 Test runs in 2010 across 11 matches at an average of 42.71 is nowhere near the numbers that were needed for such prizes in the past.

The all-rounder has also contributed with the ball, twice claiming five-wicket hauls on his way to 19 wickets for the year at 27.05.

But the fact he's really the only contender for Australian cricket's big individual honours reflects what a forgettable year 2010 was for the national team.

Michael Hussey is probably the player with a chance of toppling Watson after his golden Ashes summer but for large parts of 2010 his place in the team was under scrutiny as his form dipped.