ICC Men's Player of the Month nominations for August announced

Shaheen Afridi, in two Tests against West Indies in August, promised wickets every time he was thrown the ball.

Joe Root
Joe Root. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

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The ICC Player of the Month nominees has been announced for August 2021, with both the men’s and women’s nominees featuring a strong list of candidates sure to leave the fans torn.

There were no surprises among the men’s nominees, featuring Joe Root, the England captain, Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi and his India counterpart Jasprit Bumrah.

Afridi, in two Tests against West Indies in August, promised wickets every time he was thrown the ball. He ended the series with 18 wickets, taking 10 wickets in the second Test, and helped Pakistan secure a series-leveling 109-run victory. In taking ten wickets in the Test, Afridi became the fourth-youngest paceman from Pakistan to achieve the feat, after Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Mohammad Zahid.

India’s Bumrah was equally exceptional with his fast bowling against England. He took nine wickets in the first Test but received just as many plaudits for his role with the bat in the second Test at Lord’s, when he contributed to an 89-run ninth-wicket partnership with Mohammad Shami that proved pivotal to India’s win.

Joe Root has been outstanding in 2021

England went on to level the series in the third Test, mostly thanks to captain Joe Root, who has plundered runs at will. He scored centuries in each of the three Tests against India in August, a purple patch that led him to the top of the ICC Test batting rankings. Also, in the month of August alone, the England skipper has scored 528 runs at an average of 105.60.

And, the England skipper has been unstoppable in 2021 with the willow in hand in Tests. Root has already plundered a staggering 1419 runs in the 22 innings that he has played in the whites in the year 2021, and has scored his runs at a colossal average of 67.57. Also, the right-handed batting legend has scored 6 centuries this year, out of which two of them are double centuries as well.

In fact, such has been Root’s domination that he leads his nearest competitor, Rohit Sharma by 513 runs. The all-time record for the most Test runs ever in a calendar year is held by Mohammad Yousuf, who smashed 1788 runs in the year 2006 at an average of 99.33. And, with The Ashes lined up at the end of the year, Root has a good chance to go past Yousuf’s all-time tally.

Voting will close on Saturday, 11 September, and the winners will be announced on Monday.