2010 was year replete with records. One can't decipher whether the batsman outplayed the bowlers or vice-versa, but it was an all-round display of fine cricket in all three formats of the game.
In the Test batting department, India's Sachin Tendulkar topped the charts for the most runs with 1,562 runs - the highest in the calender year - with an average of 55.90 with 7 centuries. Tendulkar's compatriot and team-mate Virender Sehwag, came in second in the list with 1,422 at an average of 61.92 and 5 centuries in all. Meanwhile, England's Jonathan Trott secured the third position with 1,325 runs at an average of 66.25 and with 4 centuries to his credit. All the top three run-getters had played 14 matches each.
The West Indies' Chris Gayle topped the list of the highest individual innings in Tests with 333 against Sri Lanka. He is followed by South Africa's A B de Villiers 278 not out against Pakistan and his team-mate Hashim Amla, with an unbeaten 253.
Among the most impressive Test bowlers of the year, England's off-spinner Graeme Swann leads the pack with 64 wickets from 14 matches at an average of 25.96. South Africa's fast bowler Dale Steyn comes in second with 60 wickets from 11 matches at an average of 21.41, while England speedster James Anderson clocked third with 57 scalps from 12 encounters, at an average of 22.96.
James Anderson also tops the chart for the most wickets in a match at 11/71 (against Pakistan), while Dale Steyn follows him with 10/108 (versus India) and Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson is in third place with 10/132 (against New Zealand) . Meanwhile, Steyn holds the first spot for most wickets in an innings with 7/51 (versus India), while India's Zaheer Khan has the second most impressive figures an innings with 7/87 (against Bangladesh) and James Anderson is third with 6/17 (versus Pakistan).
The old warhorse Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka, set a benchmarch of his own by reaching his 800th wicket, during a Test against India in July, 2010. In terms of fielding records, Rahul Dravid became the world's first cricketer to notch up 200 Test match catches, in the Durban Test against South Africa in late Dec 2010. Former Australia opener Mark Waugh is at the second spot with 181 catches, followed by Australia skipper Ricky Ponting with 174.
In the One-Day charts for most runs in 2010, South Africa's Hashim Amla came out top of the pops with an aggregate of 1,058 from 15 matches, at an average of 75.57 and 5 centuries. India's Virat Kohli was a close second at 995 runs from 25 matches at about 47.38 per innings with 3 hundreds, while the Proteas' A B de Villiers, clocked third with an a total of 964 runs in the year at an average of 80.33 with 5 centuries.
India's trump card Sachin Tendulkar created history when he became the first man on the planet to score 200 (not out, from 147 balls, against South Africa) - the highest individual score in one-dayers. Ireland's Paul Stirling made the second highest individual score in 2010 with 177 (from 134 balls, against Kenya) and Brendon Taylor of Zimbabwe nailed the third position with 145 (not out, off 136 balls, against South Africa).
In terms of ODI bowling, Bangladeshi slow-left armer Shakib Al Hassan, picked up a top tally of 46 wickets from 27 matches at an average of 26.00 and an economy rate of 4.80. Australia's Ryan Harris recorded the second0-best total haul with 40 wickets from 15 matches, at a staggering average of 156.17 and going at 4.63 an over, while England's Stuart Broad came in third with 30 wickets to his credit from 16 matches at an average of 24.86.
The best bowling figures in a single one-day match in 2010 went to Australia's James Hopes after ensnaring 5/14 against Ireland. Hopes compatriot and team-mate Ryan Harris got the second best figures in a single match with 5/19 against Pakistan and Alec Cusack of Ireland recorded the third best ODI bowling figures with 5/20 versus Afghanistan.
Twenty20 International cricket was rife with tantalising records in 2010. Pakistan's Umar Akmal topped the batting aggregates with a total of 441 runs in 18 matches at an average of 29.40 and a strike rate of 123.18. Australia's David Warner was right behind him with an aggregate of 373 runs from 15 games at an average of 24.86 and a strike rate of 156.72, while England's Kevin Pitersen came third with a total of 353 from just 8 matches at a whopping average of 70.60 and a strike rate of 134.22. Meanwhile's India's Suresh Raina was the only batsman to notch up a century in T20 Internationals in 2010, which occurred against South Africa in the T20 World Cup.
As far as the best bowling in T20 Internationals goes, Dirk Nannes secured the top spot with with 27 wickets from 14 matches at an avrage of 14.92 and an economy rate of 7.60. Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal came second with a tally of 22 wickets from 18 matches at an average of 19.04 and going at 6.85 runs an over. Ajmal was tied for the second spot with Australia's Shaun Tait who also picked up 22 wickets, but from 14 matches at an average of 14.72 and an economy rate of 6.27. Meanwhile, New Zealand's off-spinner Nathan McCullum secured third place after garnering 17 wickets from 13 matches at an average of 15.70 and an economy rate of 6.20.
The best bowling in Twenty20 internationals in a single innings was recorded by New Zealand's Tim Southee who got 5/18 against Pakistan. Southee was followed by South Africn Ryan McLaren's 5/19 versus the West Indies and just a shade under him was Kenya's Nehemiah Odhiambo, whose 5/20 helped his side beat Scotland.
It has indeed been a tremendous year as records just kept tumbling in 2010 with new benchmarks set. One wonders whether 2010 will be matched by as many records in 2011 or whether some of these feats will remain unbeaten in a calender year.