The awards also go to...

While the focus at the BCCI Annual Awards function was on Virat Kohli, who won the Polly Umrigar Award for the second year on the bounce, and Ravichandran Ashwin, who also claimed his second successive Dilip Sardesai Award, G. Viswanath ushers in the winners of other honours.

Shreyas Iyer and Shahbaz Nadeem with their respective awards on Wednesday.   -  K. Murali Kumar

While the focus at the BCCI Annual Awards function was on Virat Kohli, who won the Polly Umrigar Award for the second year on the bounce, and Ravichandran Ashwin, who also claimed his second successive Dilip Sardesai Award, G. Viswanath ushers in the winners of other honours.

Jalaj Saxena

(Lala Amarnath Award: Best All-rounder)

The all-rounder from Madhya Pradesh, who moved to Kerala for the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy season, proved to be the foremost all-rounder in 2015-16, scoring 588 runs and claiming 49 wickets with his off-breaks. He was declared the winner of the Lala Amarnath Award.

The highlight of Saxena’s performance during the season (2015-16) was his 16-wicket haul (8 for 96 and 8 for 58) against Railways in a league match in Gwalior that saw Madhya Pradesh register a thumping victory by nine wickets. Saxena has played 68 first-class matches for Madhya Pradesh, scoring 4041 runs with 10 centuries and 20 half-centuries. He has also taken 159 wickets.

Saxena was part of India ‘A’ and Central Zone teams but somehow the big stage has eluded him.

Shreyas Iyer

(Madhavrao Scindia Award: Highest run-getter)

By his own standards, Shreyas Iyer’s performance in the 2016-17 Ranji season was considered very ordinary. He scored 725 runs in 10 matches. However, in 2015-16, the Mumbai middle-order batsman had a fantastic run, aggregating 1321 runs. After a dismal start against Andhra, Iyer scored 200 (against Punjab), 83 (Tamil Nadu), 173 (Baroda), 137 (UP), 57 and 91 (Railways), 75 (Gujarat), 45 and 81 (Jharkhand; quarterfinals), 90 and 58 (Madhya Pradesh; semifinals) and 117 (Saurashtra; final). There was no one else to match Iyer’s impressive performance and hence, he was the automatic choice for the Madhav Rao Scindia Award.

Iyer dominates the bowlers, disrupts their line and length and composure and most significantly scores at a fast clip. He has featured in the last three seasons of the National Championship and has caught the attention of one and all with his vast repertoire of shots.

Shahbaz Nadeem

(Madhavrao Scindia Award: Highest wicket-taker)

The left-arm spinner picked up a whopping 51 wickets at 19.62 in 2015-16. He has been in the national scene for close to 12 years, and Jharkhand has progressed in the Ranji Trophy mainly because of his ability to take wickets.

Axar Patel

(Lala Amarnath Award: Best all-rounder in the BCCI domestic limited-overs tournaments)

Gujarat’s Axar Patel has impressed with his wicket-taking skills. The left-arm spinner took 19 wickets at 14.3 and also scored 220 runs. He helped Gujarat win the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2016. Though fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah took five for 28 in the final against Delhi in Bengaluru, Axar’s six for 43 against Tamil Nadu in the semifinals and two for 22 and 36 not out against Vidarbha in the quarterfinals were splendid efforts. He has already played for India and it is only because of an injury that he did not figure in the ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals against England.

Armaan Jaffer

(N. K. P. Salve Award: Highest scorer in the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy)

Jaffer is a familiar surname in the cricketing community in India. Armaan’s uncle, Wasim, was an outstanding first-class cricketer who had reasonable success in Test cricket. Raised in the tough world of inter-school and club competitions in Mumbai, Armaan caught the attention of one and all including the national junior selection committee chairman, Venkatesh Prasad. Not considered for the limited-overs tournaments before the Under-19 World Cup last year, Armaan forced his way into the India team with some spectacular showing in the Cooch Behar Trophy, scoring three double centuries in a row and four consecutive centuries.

Jay Bista

(M. A. Chidambaram Trophy: Highest scorer in the Under-23 C. K. Nayudu Trophy)

The first from Nepal to play for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy, Bista dominated the Under-23 C. K. Nayudu Trophy in 2015-16 and has been rewarded for the same. An attacking batsman, Bista lost his place in the Mumbai team this year, but he has a bright future.

Satyajeet Bachhav

(M. A. Chidambaram Trophy: Highest wicket-taker in the Under-23 C. K. Nayudu Trophy)

Satyajeet Bachhav was another left-arm spinner to shine in the 2015-16 season; he took 36 wickets to take Maharashtra close to the final of the Under-23 Col. C. K. Nayudu Trophy. In a high-scoring semifinal,Maharashtra conceded the first-innings lead to Mumbai. But true to his form, Bachhav bowled 52 overs to bag six for 193. In the lead up to the semifinals, Bachhav took four wickets against Madhya Pradesh, six against Vidarbha, five against Kerala, eight against Railways.

Abhishek Sharma

(Raj Singh Dungarpur Award: Highest run-getter and wicket-taker in the Under-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy)

Abhishek Sharma, the latest find from Punjab, has the potential to go places. In the 2015-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy final against Mumbai, Sharma led his team to a fine victory, scoring 66 and 123 not out and taking five for 59 in the first innings.

Sharma, the captain of the India Under-19 team that won the Asia Cup in Colombo, has been an outstanding performer with bat and ball. He bats left-handed and bowls left-arm spin.

Ninad Rathva

(N. K. P. Salve Award: Highest wicket-taker in the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy)

The youngster from Baroda surprised a number of teams with his left-arm spin; he took nine wickets (6 and 3) against Karnataka in a group match in Baroda. Overall in the season, he accounted for 30 wickets to win the award.

Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma

(Jagmohan Dalmiya Award: Best senior and junior woman cricketers)

Easily India’s outstanding player in women’s cricket (ODI and Twenty20), Mithali Raj was the most consistent scorer in either forms of limited-overs games in 2015-16. Deepti Sharma impressed as a junior cricketer.

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