Mayank Agarwal is one of three nominated for ICC Men's Player of the Month - Sports1
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Mayank Agarwal is one of three nominated for ICC Men’s Player of the Month

India opener Mayank Agarwal, who performed well in the Test series against New Zealand and South Africa, was nominated for the December ICC Player of the Month award on Saturday.

In addition to Agarwal, New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel and Australian pacer Mitchell Starc were also shortlisted for the award.

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With regular openers Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and KL Rahul all sidelined sometime last month, Agarwal took his chances with both hands against New Zealand and South Africa.

He averaged 69.00 for 276 in two races, including two fifties and a century.

Agarwal was the architect of Mumbai’s victory against New Zealand, winning the match with 150 and 62 in two innings.

He also played a key role in breaking down the Centurion hoodoo for the first time in India.

KL Rahul and Agarwal batted first on a cloudy day, pairing up for a brilliant opening pair of 117. In the stands, he was put to the test by the Proteas’ fiery pace attack, but finally came out on top with a 60.

India’s 327 runs in the first inning finally proved the gap between the two sides.

India-born kiwi spinner Ajaz Patel’s name was immortalized in cricket history in December when he scored 10 wickets in an innings against India, becoming the third person to achieve after Jim Laker and Anil Kumble This feat of player.

The left-arm spinner has only played one Test this month and he has 14 wickets with an average of 16.07. He picked up all 10 wickets in the first innings but was disappointed by the New Zealand batsman who was tied for 62.

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In the second innings, he picked up four wickets, including those of Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara. He finished with a stat of 14/225, the best bowling stat in the 2021 Test.

Starc’s bat and ball were also excellent in hand as Australia kept the ashes in two games.

In three matches last month, he took 14 wickets with an average of 19.64 and was very handy in batting, scoring 117 runs with an average of 58.50.

He fired Rory Burns with the first ball of the first Test, setting the tone for the entire series. At bat, he kept Travis Head company for 35 innings and added 85 key runs for the eighth wicket.

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In Adelaide’s second Test, Stark grabbed six wickets and scored 58. This included an excellent four wickets in the first innings, which helped reduce England to 236 and put Australia ahead on 237.

In the Boxing Day Test, Stark picked two key wickets in the first innings, including England captain Joe Root’s wicket.

His 24-run innings gave Australia an 82-point lead, which proved enough to give England 68. He took three wickets in the second as Australia won by one to keep the urn.

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