New Delhi: India’s senior fast-bowler Mohammed Shami, along with Australia’s ODI World Cup winning duo of Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell have been shortlisted for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award for November 2023.
Shami topped the wicket-taking charts at the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup, and led India’s bowling attack in fine fashion with a number of scintillating displays during the month, though the hosts’ ended up as runners-up despite being overwhelming favourites to win the tile.
Shami was a late addition to India’s playing eleven, but left a huge impact thereafter. He started November with a Player of the Match performance against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, tearing through their batting lineup with sterling figures of 5-18, leaving everyone mesmerised.
His highlight of the campaign, though, came in the semi-final victory over New Zealand at the same venue in Mumbai, taking seven wickets for 57 runs and booking the hosts’ ticket to the final in Ahmedabad with the best figures for any bowler in the World Cup knockout games. During the calendar month, Shami took 15 wickets at a remarkable average of 12.06.
Maxwell is shortlisted for the honour for the first time after a prolific November, which included arguably one of the great World Cup performances against Afghanistan in Mumbai. Chasing 292 for victory after being 91 for seven, Maxwell smashed 31 boundaries in his unbeaten 201 to seal Australia’s safe passage to the knockout stages, despite suffering with cramps in his entire body.
Fast forward to the final in Ahmedabad, and Maxwell again made key contributions, bowling a disciplined spell and removing the threat of Rohit Sharma before hitting the winning runs to seal the title for Australia. Maxwell also starred in the subsequent T20I matches against India, hitting 104 not out in 48 balls in the third encounter in Guwahati, before flying back home.
Meanwhile, Head is nominated for the Men’s Player of the Month award for the first time since his match-winning contributions helped Australia clinch the ICC World Test Championship Final in June with a victory over India in London this year.
A similar story unfolded in India, culminating in two Player of the Match performances in the knockout stages. South Africa were thwarted by Head’s brilliance with bat and ball in the semi-final in Kolkata; the spinner taking the key wickets of Heinrich Klaasen and Marco Jansen before top scoring with 62 in 48 balls in the thrilling chase.
His crowning glory however came in Ahmedabad, in the chase of 241 Head hit a sparkling 137 off 120 balls to see his side home at a canter amid jubilant celebrations, as well as pick another Player of the Match award, in what was Australia’s sixth World Cup title.