Dubai, March 9: India's Shreyas Iyer, women's team skipper Mithali Raj and all-rounder Deepti Sharma figure in the list of ICC Player of the Month nominees in the men's and women's sections, respectively for the month of February 2022.
Iyer was in sublime form last month, and played a key role in India's white-ball domination as they blanked the West Indies and Sri Lanka. He started the month with a Player of the Match-winning 80 against the West Indies in the final ODI, and followed it up with a 16-ball 25 in the final T20I of the subsequent series.
In the T20I series against Sri Lanka that followed, India opted to rest players, and that coupled with an injury to Suryakumar Yadav meant Iyer was promoted to No.3. He took the opportunity with both hands, scoring three unbeaten fifties in as many matches and finished with 204 runs at a strike rate of 174.35. He was awarded the Player of the Series for his exploits.
The other ICC Men's Player of the Month nominees are Vriitya Aravind of the UAE who had a superb outing in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier A. Aravind played a crucial role in UAE booking their ticket to Australia for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022. In five matches in the Qualifier A campaign, he smashed 267 runs at an average of 89.00 and a strike rate of 154.33.
Also, Dipendra Singh Airee of Nepal, who played a crucial role as his team finished third in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier A in Oman, is the third nominee in the men's section. He was splendid both with the bat and the ball, finishing with 159 runs and three wickets in the tournament.
In the women's section, Mithali Raj was one of the few shining lights for India in the ODI series against New Zealand. She was the highest run-scorer for India, and the second-highest overall with 232 runs, including three fifties, averaging 77.33 while striking at 82.56. In the final ODI, she played the role of the finisher to perfection, remaining unbeaten on 54 as India chased down 252 with four overs to spare. With the win, India ensured that they avoided the clean-sweep.
Deepti Sharma shone both with the bat and ball in the series against New Zealand. She took the most wickets (10) in the ODI series and was handy with the bat as well, aggregating 116 runs in five matches. She grabbed a four-for in the second ODI and followed it up with a 69* in the next match. It helped India set a daunting 280-run target, although New Zealand still chased it down to complete the second-highest successful chase in women's ODI history.
The third nominee, Amelia Kerr of New Zealand, is in the form of her life, wreaking havoc with the bat and ball. In the ODI series against India, she finished as the highest-run getter overall and the joint-highest wicket-taker for her team alongside her sister Jess Kerr. In the five ODIs, she scored 353 runs at an average of 117.66 and strike-rate of 97.51, which included three fifties and a hundred. With the ball, she picked up seven wickets at an economy of 5.78.