Nissanka nominated for ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award for February

ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award for February

Nissanka nominated for ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award

Three top-order batters from India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand have made the shortlist for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award for February 2024.

Pathum Nissanka (Sri Lanka)

Pathum Nissanka is a top contender for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for February 2024 after he slammed the first ever double century in ODIs by a Sri Lankan. The 25-year-old blasted 210* off just 139 balls against Afghanistan in Pallekele and then went on to end the series with another terrific hundred (118 off 101 balls).

Nissanka beat Sanath Jayasuriya’s 24-year-old record for the highest score by a Sri Lankan in ODIs.

Jayasuriya had scored 189 against India in Sharjah in 2000. In the last 18 overs, Nissanka slammed 110 runs. He took merely 48 balls to reach his double ton after crossing his century, smashing 20 fours and eight sixes.

Nissanka carried the form into the T20Is, smashing 25 off 11 to give a riveting start in the second T20I against Afghanistan and then hit 60 off just 30 balls to kickstart a run-chase of 210. However, he retired hurt with the score on 83/2 and Sri Lanka ended up losing by three runs.

Kane Williamson (New Zealand)

Kane Williamson played a pivotal role in New Zealand’s first-ever Test series victory over South Africa. The New Zealand veteran slammed two hundreds in the first Test in Mount Maunganui, and then made 133* to help his team chase down a tricky fourth-innings target in Hamilton to ensure the series victory.

This was Williamson’s first instance of scoring two hundreds in a Test match. The impactful series he had ensured that New Zealand would climb up the ICC World Test Championship table, finishing in second position at the end of February with three wins in five Tests.

It was in Hamilton, though, that Williamson reserved his best for with the team in trouble. Chasing 267, Williamson walked in at No.3 and struck a 133*, laced with 12 fours and two sixes to guide the Black Caps to a whitewash 2-0 series victory.

The chase orchestrated by Williamson was the fourth-highest successful chase in New Zealand by the Black Caps and the fifth-highest overall. Williamson also notched his 32nd Test ton, now the highest among active players. He also claimed the title of the quickest to 32 Test centuries by innings, bettering Steve Smith who accomplished the feat in 174 innings.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (India)

With back-to-back double centuries in the month, Yashasvi Jaiswal is a strong contender for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for February 2024. Jaiswal was in top form against England, slamming 2019 in Vizag in the first innings of the second Test and then going on to make a second innings double century in the next Test in Rajkot to help India take a lead in the series.

Jaiswal’s knocks helped India fight back from a loss in the first Test of the series. The left-handed opener also rose to the top of the leading run-scorer list in the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle.

Jaiswal created several records in February, and equalled the long-standing Test record for most sixes in a Test innings (12) during his Rajkot knock. The back-to-back double hundreds at the age of 22 years and 49 days made him the third youngest batter in the world to record two double centuries in Tests after Sir Donald Bradman and Vinod Kambli.

Jaiswal ended February with astounding numbers in the three Tests he featured in — 560 runs at an average of 112 including 20 sixes.