India’s swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has unlocked yet another achievement as he was named the winner of the inaugural ICC Player of the Month award for January for his magnificent performances in the recently concluded Australia tour. Pant played two of the most of fabulous and outstanding fourth-innings knock in Sydney and Brisbane to help India script a memorable and historic series win Down Under in some very tough conditions. With a brilliant tally of 313 runs from 4 matches, the southpaw also ended as the highest run-getter for India in the Test series against Australia.
After sitting out in the first Test match of the series, Pant played a stunning innings of 97 runs on Day 5 of the Sydney Test match where he was also injured while batting in the first innings, however, the youngster encountered both the pain the challenging Aussie bowling attack remarkably well to help India pull off an unlikely draw. Then, in his second Test for the January month at The Gabba, Pant played an astounding unbeaten knock of 89 runs to help Team India successfully chase down a massive fourth innings target of 328 runs and eventually claim the series 2-1.
“I am delighted to be receiving the inaugural ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award. For any sportsperson, contributing to a team win is the ultimate reward but such initiatives help motivate youngsters such as myself to do better each time. I dedicate this award to every member of Team India that contributed to our victory in Australia and also thank all my fans who voted for me,” Rishabh Pant said after winning the award.
With India’s Rishabh Pant claiming the inaugural ICC Men’s Player of the Month award, it was South Africa’s Women’s cricketer Shabnim Ismail who won the ICC Women’s Player of the Month trophy. The South African fast bowler picked up a total of seven wickets in three ODIs against Pakistan. In the three T20Is, she scalped seven more wickets.
Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja who was representing the ICC Voting Academy, mentioned that Pant played two scintillating innings under extreme pressure against some quality Australian bowlers. Ramiz stated that the youngster showed great versatility of skills along with some terrific temperament during his heroics in Australia.
“Both times Pant played under pressure in two different sets of challenges: to draw a game and to win a game. He showed his versatility of skills in both knocks, the clincher being his temperament,” said Ramiz Raja.
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