Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin had plenty to cheer for following India’s 75-run win over Australia in the second Test at Bangalore. While Kohli’s aggressive captaincy proved to be decisive, Ashwin’s 25th five-wicket haul helped India run through Australia to level the four-match series 1-1. (BCCI Awards Highlights)
On Wednesday, there was more cheer for Kohli and Ashwin. The Indian skipper won the Polly Umrigar award for the best international cricketer of 2015/16 while Ashwin won the Dilip Sardesai award for his magnificent performance in the West Indies in which he picked up 17 wickets in four Tests to give India a 2-0 series win.
For Kohli, this was the third time that he had won the Polly Umrigar Trophy, having secured the award for the 2011/12 season as well as for the 2014/15 season.
The 2015/16 season saw Kohli reach the peak of his powers in ODIs and T20Is. In 10 ODIs, he smashed 626 runs at an average of 62.6 with three centuries while in 15 T20Is, he blasted 669 runs at an average of 95 with a strike-rate of 140.57.
Along with Kohli and Ashwin, there were some notable moments at the 2017 awards. For the first time in the history of the awards, women cricketers were honoured for their services. Shanta Rangaswamy, the former India women’s captain, got the BCCI Lifetime achievement award from Ajit Wadekar and she became the first woman player to be felicitated by the BCCI.
In her 15-year career, Rangaswamy played 16 Tests and scored 750 runs with one century at an average of 32.6. In 19 ODIs, she smashed 287 runs with one fifty. She was also a useful bowler and captained her country eight times. She had won the Arjuna Award in 1976.
The ceremony also saw Shreyas Iyer and Shahbaz Nadeem being awarded the Madhavrao Scindia award for their best performances in the Ranji Trophy. Iyer had a stellar 2015/16 as he smashed 1321 runs in 11 games at an average of 73 to help Mumbai to their 41st Ranji title while Nadeem picked up 51 wickets in nine games.
During the ceremony, former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer delivered the MAK Pataudi lecture in which he hailed the contribution of ‘Tiger’ Pataudi to Indian cricket.