ICC Player of the Month: Shafali Verma, Sneh Rana nominated after England Test show


India’s teen batting sensation Shafali Verma and all-rounder Sneh Rana were on Wednesday (July 7) nominated for ICC women’s ‘Player of the Month’ award for June following their standout performances in the ongoing series against England. Besides the Indian duo, England’s left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone has also been nominated for the honour in the women’s category. The nominees among the men are New Zealand batsman Devon Conway and pacer Kyle Jamieson along with South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

The 17-year-old Shafali, who had already impressed everyone in the shortest format of the game, made a stunning Test debut against England and was named Player of the Match in the Bristol match. The flamboyant teenager became the first Indian woman and fourth from any country to score half-centuries in both innings of a debut Test, notching 96 and 63.

Her first innings score was the highest by an Indian woman on debut. She also aggregated 59 runs in two ODIs against India at a strike rate of 85.50. All-rounder Rana also had a memorable Test debut at Bristol with her unbeaten 80 off 154 deliveries helping India stave off defeat against England after they were made to follow on.

Earlier in the match, she finished with four for 131, accounting for well-set opener Tammy Beaumont and Amy Jones among others. She also took one for 43 in an ODI against the same side.

England’s left-arm spinner Ecclestone was the most successful bowler in the one-off Test against India, finishing with a match haul of eight for 206 for an average of 25.75. The 22-year-old snared four wickets in each innings of the Test match. She also had three in each of the two ODIs which followed during the month, her six wickets coming at an average of 12.16 and an economy rate of 3.65.

Among the male nominees, Conway smashed a double century on Test debut at Lord’s in June. He followed it up with half-centuries in his next two Tests, including the ICC World Test Championship Final, to aggregate 379 runs at an average of 63.16.

De Kock finished as the Player of the Series against the West Indies, notching an unbeaten 141 in the first Test and 96 in the second Test for an aggregate of 237 runs at an average of 118.50. Jamieson was the Player of the Match in the World Test Championship final against India in Southampton, finishing with match figures of seven for 61.

He dismissed India captain Virat Kohli in both innings, while his other scalps included Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant. He played two Tests during the month, finishing with 10 wickets at an average of 17.40.

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Sagar Biswas

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