Dubai: India pacer Mohammed Siraj and opener Shubman Gill were on Tuesday nominated for the ICC Player of the Month Award for their stellar show in January.
New Zealand opener Devon Conway, who has had a fine start to the year with three hundreds and two fifties across formats, is the third contender for the award.
Following a fruitful 2022, Gill displayed his batting prowess in both the white-ball formats last month while Siraj led India's fast-bowling attack with distinction in ODIs in recent times, showcasing his brilliance consistently, especially with the new ball in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah. Gill was handed his maiden T20I cap in the first match against Sri Lanka in Mumbai, where he managed just seven, before another single-digit score in the second game. He made a steady 46 in the third T20I in Rajkot.
Gill then registered scores of 70, 21 and 116 in the three ODIs against the island nation, but it was his breathtaking display in the first ODI against New Zealand in Hyderabad that stole the show.
The 23-year-old struck 208 off 149 balls in an incredible knock on a day when none of his teammates crossed 28.
Gill got to 200 with three consecutive sixes off Lockie Ferguson, and with it, became the youngest player to the milestone in ODIs.
He backed that up with scores of 40 not out and 112 in his next two outings to close out the series with an aggregate of 360, the joint-highest for anyone in a three-match ODI series, equalling Babar Azam’s record against the West Indies in 2016-17.
Siraj's incredible form, on the other hand, was rewarded in the ICC Men's Player Rankings, where he was crowned the No.1 bowler in ODIs.
He returned with figures of 2/30 from seven overs in a high-scoring first ODI against Sri Lanka in Guwahati and backed it up with figures of 3/30 and 4/32 in his next two outings respectively to finish as the leading wicket-taker in the series.
The right-arm quick then bagged 4/46 from 10 overs in a high-scoring thriller against New Zealand at his home ground in Hyderabad, before returning a hard to believe 6-1-10-1 in a brilliant opening burst in the second ODI in Raipur.