India's wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant became the first winner of the ICC Player of the Month award. The International Cricket Council's official social media profile took to Twitter to announce the recipient.
Pant played two match-defining innings across the two Test matches in Sydney (97) and Brisbane (89), steering India to win in the latter venue, thus securing a 2-1 Test series win for the visitors.
"A month to remember Down Under for @RishabhPant17 and India. Congratulations to the inaugural winner of the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award," wrote ICC.
Pant produced an incredible display of batting on the final day of the Melbourne Test, arriving at the crease early in the first session after the dismissal of captain Ajinkya Rahane.
He forged an important partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara, playing his natural aggressive game to reach 91 in just 118 deliveries, smashing 12 fours and three sixes.
In the final match in Brisbane, Pant played a match-winning knock in the second innings, taking on the Australian bowling attack with a similar aggressive intent. He remained unbeaten on 89 off just 138 deliveries, forging partnerships with Cheteshwar Pujara and Washington Sundar to steer India to a historic victory.
"For a player who was under so much pressure, January 2021 will always bring sweet memories, and perhaps remind Rishabh Pant of a turning point in his career," ICC Voting Academy member Mohammad Isam said in a press release.
Rishabh Pant finished ahead of England captain Joe Root and Ireland's Paul Stirling in the voting.