Batting maestro Virat Kohli, along with the Asia Cup winning duo of Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma, were on Thursday nominated for the ICC ‘Player of the Month’ award in the men’s and women categories, respectively. The nominations are for the month of October.

While Kohli has been nominated for the first time, following his heroics with the bat in the T20 World Cup wins against arch-rivals Pakistan and the Netherlands, Rodrigues and Sharma were shortlisted after they played pivotal roles in the Indian women’s team’s Asia Cup triumph. Rodrigues ended the tournament as the leading run-scorer, while teammate Sharma was named Player of the Tournament and joint leading wicket-taker.

Kohli registered 205 runs in October, showing glimpses of his very best form. He looked at ease in scoring an unbeaten 62 against a dogged Netherlands. However, the highlight was the era-defining innings played in front of a full house in Melbourne, as his side claimed a historic victory against Pakistan. The display saw Kohli lift his

side from 31 for four to chase down 160 off the final ball, thanks to a magnificent 82 not out from 53 balls.

In women’ cricket, Rodrigues, who was previously nominated in August following her stellar displays in the Commonwealth Games, was once again the driving force behind India’s recent success. When her side rejoiced the victory over Sri Lanka in the final, Rodrigues was the leading run-scorer for the tournament, having amassed 217 runs from eight matches at an average of 54.25.

Among her top displays was the 76 she scored against the eventual finalists in the opening game, setting the tone for India’s prize-winning campaign. Sharma, too, enjoyed a prolific month during the Asia Cup. Her 13 wickets at a remarkable average of 7.69 underlined the consistent threat she posed with the ball, including impressive figures against Pakistan and Thailand. Nida Dar is the final candidate in contention for claiming the award for October as her handy contributions with bat and ball drove Pakistan to the semi-finals of the Asia Cup.
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