It's that time of the year, ICC honors the top performers of the annual cycle and this year is no different. We saw some exceptional matches these past many months, also with the world experiencing the inaugural World Test Championship Final played out with New Zealand coming out as victors. 

With England's destruction at the hand of Aussies, India going around and breaking down fortresses in Australia and South Africa, 2021 was a good year for the red ball format of the game. With excellent performers all around the globe, ICC listed the four extraordinary players who were selected as nominees to win the ICC Men's Test Player award 2021.

The nominees 

Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

R Ashwin, one of India's most successful spinners in the long format of the game, again established himself as one of the world's best spinners in the past year. Apart from his bowling wizardry, Ashwin also provided valuable support with the bat scoring ​​337 runs at 28.08 with one century. Proving a master of the ball, the spin wizard picked up 52 wickets from 9 matches with three five-wicket hauls.


Joe Root (England)

The England skipper though not having a very good year as a captain had a very exceptional year with the bat. Joe Root scored 1,708 runs in 15 matches with six centuries through the year. As a result of Joe Root's sublime form in the year, he has become only the third player in history to run up 1,700 runs in Test cricket in a calendar year with the others being Mohammad Yousuf and Sir Vivian Richards.


Kyle Jamieson (New Zealand)

Among the other nominees include Kyle Jamieson of New Zealand who scalped 27 wickets in five matches at 17.51. Making his mark in the game, he is another potent addition to the Kiwi pace battery. This year, Jamieson emerged as one of the world's most promising fast bowling prospects, proving to be a handful for the opposition to deal with. Being not so shoddy with the bat, the Kiwis have unearthed an absolute gem in him.


Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)

Last, but not least, is the Sri Lankan Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, who scored 902 runs in 7 matches at 69.38 with four centuries. One of the highlights of Karunaratne's stellar year included a brilliant century against South Africa in Johannesburg, two centuries against Bangladesh in Pallekele, including a double century, and a brilliant century against West Indies in Galle, becoming a shining beam of light for the sport in the nation.


With all four making very strong cases on why they deserve to take home the coveted title, It remains to be seen who will be selected as the lucky one. Looking forward to another exceptional year in the red-ball format of the game and to the rise of new stars, tell us who do you think to win the esteemed prize in the comments below.

Cover Credits: CricketNation