The ICC has nominated India opener Mayank Agarwal along with New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel and Australia pacer Mitchell Starc for the ICC Player of the Month Award for December 2021.
All three men were brilliant in their performances in the Test arena which had the governing body earmark them for this distinguished award.
With Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul missing, Mayank Agarwal was given the chance to come back in the Indian eleven against New Zealand in the home series. The Karnataka opener grabbed that opportunity with both hands, registering scores of 150 and 62 in the Mumbai Test that helped India secure a 372-run win and seal the series.
Agarwal continues this good form in South Africa as well, where he notched up a fifty in the Centurion Test and forged a 117-run opening stand with KL Rahul. He scored 276 runs in December, the highest of that month.
Ajaz Patel, the other nominee, entered record books to become only the third bowler to pick up all 10 wickets in a Test innings; Jim Laker and Anil Kumble are the only two bowlers to that previously.
Patel achieved this rare feat in the Mumbai Test against India, he returned with figures of 10/119 in the first innings and 4/106 in the second innings. Unfortunately, Patel couldn’t see his team to victory. Such phenomenal was his outing with the ball, Patel has been nominated in the top 3 for this award on the back of just one Test; his 14 wickets were the joint-most by a bowler in December.
Challenging them is Mitchell Starc, who announced his return to form with a series-winning show: Starc took 14 wickets in the first three Ashes Tests, sealing the series for Australia.
The fast bowler had set the tone for the whole series by dismissing Rory Burns with the first ball of the first Test. Along with the wickets, the left-hander also scored 117 runs with the bat, solidifying his side’s position with some late runs.