Swashbuckling It was announced on Thursday that Indian batters Suryakumar Yadav and Smriti Mandhana have been nominated for the men’s and women’s T20 Cricketer of the Year honours, respectively, based on their performances in 2022. In the men’s category, Suryakumar has been nominated for the top honours among the likes of Sam Curran, an all-rounder from England who won the T20 World Cup, Mohammad Rizwan, a wicketkeeper and batter from Pakistan, and Sikandar Raza, a batting all-rounder from Zimbabwe.
Mandhana will have opposition in the women’s division from Pakistan bowling all-rounder Nida Dar, New Zealand’s Sophie Devine, and Australia’s Tahlia Mcgrath.
Suryakumar had a phenomenal year in the shortest format of the game in 2022, becoming only the second batter in the history of the format to score more than one thousand runs in a single calendar year.
He finished the year as the player with the most runs scored, with 1164, and he did so at a ridiculously high strike rate of 187.43. His total of 68 sixes hit in Twenty20 matches throughout the calendar year is by a significant margin the best anyone has ever registered in the format in a single year.
The tremendous consistency with which Suryakumar played in the format is mirrored in his average, which stood somewhere in the middle of the 40s. Yadav was the most successful hitter in the men’s Twenty20 competition with two hundreds and nine half-centuries during the year.
During the Twenty20 World Cup that was held in Australia, he scored three fifties in a total of six innings, bringing his tournament average up to nearly 60 while maintaining a strike rate of 189.68.
After the tournament was over, he continued to have a remarkable year, as evidenced by the fact that he scored his second hundred in Twenty20 matches during the year during the bilateral series in New Zealand.
This year also saw Suryakumar achieve a career-high 890 rating points, propelling him to the top of the rankings for men’s Twenty20 batting.
Mandhana, who was honoured as the best women’s Twenty20 cricketer by the ICC in the previous year, exemplified consistency in the shortest format once again.
This year was a good one for Mandhana, as evidenced by her breaking the record for the fastest fifty ever scored by an Indian woman (off just 23 balls) and surpassing the 2,500-run milestone in Twenty20 competitions.
She left her impact on the Commonwealth Games, the Twenty20 Asia Cup, and a memorable five-match home series against Australia towards the business end of a successful year.
The most entertaining innings that Mandhana played in 2022 was the second Twenty20 match of the bilateral series that India played against Australia in December.
At the DY Patil stadium in Mumbai, in front of nearly 47,000 spectators – the greatest turnout for a women’s cricket match in India – Mandhana blasted a 49-ball 79 while chasing Australia’s 187/1 total. Mandhana’s innings came while India was trying to catch up to Australia’s score of 187/1.
She finished the match as India’s leading scorer and kept the game going till the very end, helping India force a super over by tying the score at 187/5 and taking India all the way to victory.
In the extra over, India batted first and produced a respectable total of 20/1, with Mandhana contributing 13 runs off the final three balls of the innings (4, 6, 3).
This turned out to be a total that was plenty for India, as they held Australia to 16/1 and secured a victory in front of a boisterous audience that they will never forget.