New Delhi, Jan 3: Will India’s batting maverick Suryakumar Yadav win the ICC Men’s T20I Player of the Year award for 2023?
Well, he has been nominated for the honour for the second time in a row. The right-handed batter, known for his 360-degree strokeplay, had won the award in 2022 for scoring 1164 runs in the format, thus becoming the first Indian to achieve the honour in this category.
Apart from him, Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza, Uganda’s Alpesh Ramjani and New Zealand’s Mark Chapman have earned nominations for the award. In 17 T20I innings, Suryakumar scored 733 runs at an average of 48.86 and strike-rate of 155.95 to dominate run-scoring in the shortest format.
His first T20I knock of the year was a mere seven against Sri Lanka, but he shined in the next two matches with scores of 51 (36) and 112 not out (51) in Pune and Rajkot respectively. An innings of 83 (44) against the West Indies in Providence, Guyana, in August was followed by a knock of 61 (45) in Lauderhill, Florida, USA.
Suryakumar also went on to take the T20I leadership role of a young India side towards the end of the year. He made half-centuries against Australia (80 off 42 balls) and South Africa (56 from 36 balls), before posting a century off just 56 balls in India’s final T20I of the year in Johannesburg.
Raza, meanwhile, was consistent with bat in hand across the year in the T20I format, making at least 20 in nine of his 11 innings across the year. He amassed 515 runs in 11 innings, at an average of 51.50 and strike-rate of 150.14. With his off-spin bowling, he took 17 wickets at an average of 14.88 and economy rate of 6.57.
Ramjani was a nightmare for batters with his left-arm orthodox, taking 55 wickets in his 30 T20I outings, the most among men’s players in the format across the year. His knock of 40 from 26 against Zimbabwe was the most crucial innings, as it led to a shock victory over them on their path to 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup Qualification.
Chapman, the New Zealand batter, was swashbuckling with the bat, making 556 runs in 17 innings, striking at 145.54, and had an admirable average of 50.54, as a batter at number four and five. He made 290 runs in five matches to claim Player of the Series accolades in the shared 2-2 series against Pakistan, making an unbeaten hundred to win the final match.
In the women’s T20I player of the year category, Australia’s premier all-rounder Ellyse Perry, West Indies skipper Hayley Matthews, England’s left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone and Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu are the nominees.
Ellyse made just 60 runs in four innings with the bat and taking three wickets in the six matches in Australia’s winning campaign in Women’s T20 World Cup. But she ended the year on a high, putting together scores of 51 not out, 34, 70 and 40 in the bilaterals against England and West Indies.
A notable aspect was her continued aggressive intent with the bat as she made 319 runs in 10 innings at an average of 45.57 and a strike-rate of 151.18. With 11 sixes in the year, she surpassed her personal best in Women’s T20I this year.
A standout highlight from Ellyse was a remarkable piece of fielding in the T20 World Cup semi-final against India. With 18 needed off 9 balls, she stopped a boundary in stunning fashion, throwing herself into the air and flicking the ball back to save two runs, as Australia won by five runs.
Hayley the all-rounder racked up 700 runs in the year, the most by any player in a year in Women's T20Is. She also picked up 19 wickets at an average of 16.21 through her off-spin bowling. Her extraordinary unbeaten 99 in the first game of the series against Australia was overshadowed by her mind-blowing 132 in a run-chase of 213 in Sydney.
Acing the world-record run-chase in women's T20Is saw Hayley break several records including that of the highest individual score in a women’s T20I run-chase. Her overall tally of 310 runs in the series against Australia is the most by any player in a women's T20I bilateral series.
Sophie, the top-ranked women's T20I bowler, took 11 wickets, the most by anyone in the Women’s T20 World Cup. Her sensational showing in the tournament saw her go past 800 rating points, becoming just the second bowler to do so in the Women's T20I Bowling rankings. Sophie finished the year with 23 wickets in 11 matches, with an amazing average of 10.60 and bowled at an economy rate of 5.65.
Chamari finished with 470 runs in the year, scoring at a quicker-than-usual strike-rate of 130.91 and even took eight wickets with the ball. With 15 sixes in the year, she also hit a personal high in Women's T20Is. She was at the forefront of Sri Lanka stunning South Africa by three runs in Women’s T20 World Cup opening game, as well as in the side’s stunning series win in England. (IANS)