India's left-arm spin all-rounder Axar Patel on Wednesday was named as one of the three nominees for ICC Men's Player of the Month award, following a series of impressive and restrictive bowling displays in the month of September.
Apart from Patel, Australia all-rounder Cameron Green and Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan are also nominated for the honour.
So often a key threat in India's bowling attack, Patel enjoyed a prolific September to earn his first nomination for Player of the Month awards. Since the time senior left-arm spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was ruled out of the T20 World Cup due to knee injury and subsequent surgery, Patel has brilliantly filled in the void during a run-fest T20I series between India and Australia.
Claiming a total of nine wickets at an average of 11.44 and with a superb economy rate of just 5.72, he most notably excelled in the home series against Australia, where he took 3/17 in Mohali though Australia chased down 209. He then picked 2/13 in eight overs a side affair in Nagpur to set the base for an Indian victory.
In the series decider in Hyderabad, Patel broke two crucial partnerships with the wickets of Aaron Finch and Josh Inglis before removing the dangerous Matthew Wade to bag figures of 3/33 and went on to take Player of the Series award.
At an economy rate of 6.3 in the series, Axar finished with eight wickets where the next highest wicket-taker in the series picked up only three wickets. He continued his good form by giving away just 16 runs in four overs in the first T20I in Thiruvananthapuram, underlining his significant credentials as a key asset for India in the shorter format of the game.
Australia's Green receives his first nomination for the Men's Player of the Month Award after producing a string of fine displays during September. After striking an unbeaten 89 to seal a dramatic two-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first of three ODIs for Australia to eventually win the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, he again grabbed attention in the T20I series against India.
A thrilling knock of 61 from 30 balls helped his side clinch the opening match in Mohali in his first time as a T20I opener for Australia, and despite failing to win the series, Green topped the run scoring charts for his team with 118 runs at an average of 39.33, including another fifty in the series decider in Hyderabad.
Rizwan lies atop the Men's T20I Player Rankings for batters and his form throughout September helped illustrate why he sits at the top of the list. He registered three half-centuries in the latter stages of his side's Asia Cup campaign which led them to the final, before continuing his rich vein of form in the subsequent T20I series against a visiting England side.
Four further half-centuries followed, with the highlight being an unbeaten 88 during the dominant ten-wicket victory in the second T20I chasing down an imposing 199 set by the tourists. Rizwan's month ended with him having amassed 553 runs at an average of 69.12 from his ten T20I fixtures.