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Feature

ESPNcricinfo's BBL team of the season

Who makes the cut after a season which has seen significant disruption?

Three of our team of the season

Three of our team of the season  •  Getty Images

In a tournament that did incredibly well to get in a full home-and-away season amid Covid these were some of the players who stood out
Statistics until the end of the regular season

Ben McDermott (Hobart Hurricanes)

Innings 12; Runs 571; Average 51.90; S/R 153.49
After a delayed start to the season due to a groin injury, McDermott initially struggled at No. 4 before a move to the top of the order unleashed his belligerent batting. The 27-year-old lit a fuse under the BBL mid-season when he became the first player in the competition's history to smash consecutive centuries. A few matches later he agonisingly fell short of his fourth career BBL ton with 93 against Heat. McDermott tailed off slightly but his spectacular season, where he compiled the most runs, ensures the pressure is on Australia's ageing openers Aaron Finch and David Warner ahead of a home T20 World Cup.

Josh Philippe (Sydney Sixers)

Innings 13; Runs 429; Average 33.33; S/R 143.48
Philippe has been a standout batter in the BBL over recent years and it appeared the 24-year-old had taken his game to another level after striking three half-centuries early in the season, including 99 not out against Melbourne Stars at the MCG. Just as he was making an irresistible case to national selectors, Philippe went uncharacteristically cold and scored just one half-century in his next 10 innings. He has been overtaken by McDermott in the pecking order for Australia's T20 team heightening the pressure on Philippe amid Sixers' stuttering quest for a historic hat-trick of BBL titles.

Glenn Maxwell (Melbourne Stars)

Innings 13; Runs 468; Average 42.55; S/R 159.73
Maxwell's season was a mishmash of highs and lows but it was never dull. Over half of his runs came from two breathtaking innings, where he smashed hundreds, but around them were a lot of failures including four straight single digit failures amid Stars' Covid-19 drama. Some of his dismissals were particularly rash and perhaps can be rued after Stars agonisingly missed finals by just one point. But Stars' skipper just has to be included on this list after his record-breaking 154 not out against Hurricanes in a reminder of why the 'Big Show' remains the best show going around.

Mitchell Marsh (Perth Scorchers)

Innings 6; Runs 314; Average 78.50; S/R 148.81 | 5 wickets; Average 25.40; Economy rate 8.46
Fresh from his heroics at the T20 World Cup, Marsh has become perhaps the most intimidating batter in the BBL. Even though he's played only half the tournament, Marsh's imprint has been sizeable and he now exudes a type of aura reserved for the absolute elite. While the 30-year-old's power hitting has been unparalleled, his growing maturity is eye-catching. His seam bowling hasn't been greatly needed amid Scorchers' well-oiled machine but he's been handy when needed. However, a hamstring injury suffered in the qualifying final against Sixers has the potential to derail his golden run.

Moises Henriques (Sydney Sixers)

Innings 12; Runs 403; Average 44.77; S/R 145.48
Somewhat reminiscent of team-mate Philippe, Henriques started the BBL season superbly with a pair of 70s but has cooled off since. Although he has still looked the goods and showed composure during Sixers' horror collapses against Brisbane Heat at the SCG and Scorchers in the qualifying final. It's been a tough period for Sixers mired in the BBL's Covid-19 chaos and the two-time defending champions have been uncharacteristically off the boil. But the strong leadership of Henriques, who soon turns 35, has held Sixers together as they chase history.

Jason Sangha (Sydney Thunder)

Innings 11; Runs 384; Average 48.00; S/R 130.61
The much-hyped 22-year-old is starting to live up to top billing after an ultra-consistent season batting at No. 3. Sangha had a purple patch during Thunder's six-match winning streak where they stormed up the ladder and he also impressed as stand-in skipper for a few games. Given his inexperience, Sangha's composure at the crease has stood out but he can switch gears when required like when he clubbed 91 not out from 55 balls against Adelaide Strikers. An international debut might not be far away.

Ashton Agar (Perth Scorchers)

Innings 9; Runs 118; Average 23.60; S/R 147.50 | Matches 13; 15 wickets; Average 23.53; Economy rate 7.06
Once again, the spinning allrounder has been ultra-consistent and a key cog in Scorchers' dominant season. Generally bowling after the four-over powerplay, often in tandem with legspinner Peter Hatzoglou, left-armer Agar has been miserly and strangles batters mid-innings. He has a knack of picking up wickets at pivotal moments and Agar has also contributed several cameos with the bat at the death.

Hayden Kerr (Sydney Sixers)

Matches 14; 22 wickets; Average 13.00; Economy rate 7.15
The 25-year-old has been the breakout bowler of the BBL with Kerr finishing the regular season as the second highest wicket taker. With Sixers enduring a run of injuries to their quicks, Kerr has grabbed his opportunity with both hands and stolen the show. His versatility has stood out with the left-armer able to bowl rapidly but he has clever variations. The best of Kerr, who had been injury prone previously, may still be ahead with his explosive batting barely being utilised at No. 8.

Rashid Khan (Adelaide Strikers)

Matches 11; 20 wickets; Average 13.95; Economy rate 6.34
It's little surprise to see the maestro spinner on this list after Rashid once again stamped himself as the BBL's best bowler. He kept afloat Strikers, who struggled for most of the season but importantly racked up bonus points to help them secure a finals berth. Rashid continued to weave his magic on flummoxed batters none more so than against Heat, where he finished his BBL season with the remarkable figures of 6 for 17.

Peter Siddle (Adelaide Strikers)

Matches 14; 23 wickets; Average 18.73; Economy rate 8.26
Siddle turned back the clock during a vintage regular season where he claimed the most wickets in the BBL. No one bowled better at the death marked by Siddle's mastery of delivering unplayable yorkers. With Travis Head starring in the Ashes, Siddle took the captaincy reins and stamped his leadership on the group. He's galvernised them and instilled belief even when Strikers' finals prospects appeared grim. It appears there is plenty left in the tank for the evergreen 37-year-old.

Andrew Tye (Perth Scorchers)

Matches 14; 20 wickets; Average 18.55; Economy rate 8.15
Much like Siddle, Tye shows no signs of age after being one of only two Scorchers players to have played every match this season. The 35-year-old's renowned trickery and slow bowling expertise have been on full display but he's also bowled quicker than in recent years to perhaps rekindle an international career that appeared over. During his stellar season, Tye became the first Scorchers player to reach 100 career BBL wickets.

X-factors

Joe Clarke (Melbourne Stars)
Innings 13; Runs 419; Average 32.23; S/R 151.26
Tom Rogers (Hobart Hurricanes)
Matches 12; 18 wickets; Average 19.38; Economy rate 7.75

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth