Team India left-arm spinner Axar Patel is among three nominees for ICC Men's Player of the Month for September 2022. Pakistan’s prolific wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan and Australian all-rounder Cameron Green are the other two cricketers in the fray.
With Ravindra Jadeja out of action due to a knee injury, Axar has got an opportunity to display his skills on a more consistent basis. He has made the chances count and was the Player of the Series for claiming eight wickets in three T20Is against Australia.
The 28-year-old stood out with figures of 3 for 17 in the opening T20I in Mohali, even as the Aussies chased down 209. In the second match in Nagpur, which was reduced to eight overs per side due to a wet outfield, he registered figures of 2 for 13 in two overs, dismissing Glenn Maxwell and Tim David.
In the decider in Hyderabad, the left-arm spinner picked up 3 for 33, getting the scalps of Aaron Finch, Josh Inglis and Matthew Wade. Axar ended the series with eight wickets at an average of 7.88 and an economy rate of 6.30.
The Gujarat cricketer impressed in the 1st T20I against South Africa as well, ending with figures of 1 for 16 from four overs in Thiruvananthapuram.
Rizwan, Green to provide Axar tough competition
While Axar was highly impressive with the ball last month, No. 1 T20I batter Rizwan also carried on his excellent run with the willow. In 10 matches in September, the Pakistan opener smashed seven fifties.
After scoring 70-plus against Hong Kong and India in the Asia Cup in the UAE, Rizwan scored 55 in the final against Sri Lanka but could not lift his team to victory.
He scored four half-centuries in six T20Is during the home series against England. While Pakistan lost the seven-match series 4-3, Rizwan was the leading run-getter with 316 runs at an average of 63.20 and a strike rate of 138.60.
Aussie all-rounder Green stunned fans with some sensational displays in September, especially with the willow. In the first ODI against New Zealand, he battled cramps to lift the Aussies to victory with an unbeaten 89. In the next match, he smashed a quick-fire 25* off 12 balls and also picked up a couple of wickets.
With David Warner being rested, Green opened the innings during the T20I series in India. He clobbered 61 off 30 as Australia chased down 209 in Mohali in the 1st T20I. In the decider in Hyderabad, he cracked 52 in 21 balls in a losing cause.