ICC Men’s Player of the Month nominees for December 2023 unveiled

ICC Men’s Player of the Month nominees for December 2023

 

A fast bowler-captain, a spinner and an all-rounder feature in the shortlist for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for December 2023

Vote for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for December 2023

Pat Cummins (Australia)

The Australian skipper had a blockbuster 2023 by winning the ICC World Test Championship, ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and retaining the Ashes. As the universe would have it, Cummins signed off from the year with a sensational performance in the last month as a captain and bowler.

Hosting Pakistan for a Test series, the fast bowler had a decent start as he picked up three wickets in the opening match while leading them to a win. But it was in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) where Cummins unleashed himself.

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Defending 317 in the final innings, Australia found themselves in a tense situation with Pakistan cruising at 110/2. Cummins brought himself back to remove his counterpart, Shan Masood, for 60 after which Australia regained command.

From there on, Cummins shut down any resistance from Pakistan batters, bundling them out for 237.

Against a spirited Pakistan looking to fight back, Cummins delivered a heroic performance with a five-for in each innings (5/48 & 5/49) while reaching 250 Test wickets, winning the Player of the Match award and securing the series win that would ultimately lead to Australia becoming No.1 in Tests again.

Taijul Islam (Bangladesh)

New Zealand arrived in Bangladesh with an untarnished record in Tests in the country. Taijul was soon to change that with his left-arm spin.

The first Test of the two-match series witnessed both sides pulling the tug with equal strength. Mahmudul Hasan Joy’s 86 was matched by Kane Williamson’s hundred while Taijul’s 4/109 cancelled Glenn Phillips’ four-for in the first innings.

Najmul Hossain Shanto’s century helped Bangladesh set a total of 338 for New Zealand to chase in the final innings. Taijul ultimately proved to be the difference maker between the two teams as he grabbed a scintillating 6/75 to help Bangladesh close a win by 150 runs.

Taijul’s brilliance against New Zealand continued in the second Test as he plucked five more wickets albeit in a losing cause.

The series ended with milestones aplenty for Taijul. He took his team to a historic win at home against New Zealand, clinched the Player of the Match award in the first game and was named Player of the Series for picking the most wickets (15).

Glenn Phillips (New Zealand)

Renowned primarily for his batting blitz and wicketkeeping, Phillips was able to showcase his strength as a spinner against Bangladesh in Tests to go with it.

In the first match against Bangladesh, the all-rounder snared five wickets in the Test and played a handy knock of 42 off 62. Phillips recognised there was more to be done as the Blackcaps lost the opening bout.

During the second Test, Phillips displayed his resolve as a player. In the first innings in Mirpur, Phillips took 3/31 to restrict Bangladesh to 172. However, New Zealand encountered trouble while trailing as they lost half their side for 46 as Phillips arrived at the crease.

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Still, a long way to go, Phillips led the rescue mission with a standout knock of 87 off just 72 balls to bring New Zealand at level with Bangladesh.

The hosts then set a target of 137 for the Kiwis which proved more than challenging on the surface. New Zealand again found themselves in a corner with wickets constantly falling. With six down for 69, Phillips once more showed maturity with the bat in hand and played a match-winning knock of 40* in a partnership with Mitchell Santner (35*).

His exploits in the second Test earned him the Player of the Match award as he finished the series as New Zealand’s top run-scorer (181 runs at 60.33).

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