Sheffield Shield team of the season: Cameron Green and Nathan Lyon lead runs and wickets

Agree or disagree? A number of other players had strong claims to be in this side

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
As the Sheffield Shield heads into a final between Queensland and New South Wales, here's our team of the season. In a bat-dominated competition there are some big run-scorers to miss out but the aim was to pick a balanced side so the extra bowler was selected.

Cameron Bancroft (Western Australia)

Innings: 14; Runs: 678; Average: 48.42, Hundreds: 3
Bancroft bounced back impressively after last season's problems where he averaged 13.16 and gave catches to leg gully with alarming regularity. This was more like the composed, methodical opening batsman that first got the Australian selectors interested as he scored three hundred and batted long periods of time.

Will Pucovski (Victoria)

Innings: 3; Runs: 495; Average: 247.50, Hundreds: 2
It might be pushing it a little to include someone who played two games - and both Marcus Harris and Henry Hunt had claims to this spot - but even though it feels a lifetime ago now, Pucovski's record-breaking performances in the first part of the season are impossible to ignore. Back-to-back double centuries, including the 486-run stand with Harris, propelled him straight into the Test thinking before another concussion set him back. Then, after a debut that brought a composed half-century, a shoulder injury ended his season but he had left his mark.

Marnus Labuschagne (Queensland)

Innings: 9; Runs: 629; Average: 69.88, Hundreds: 3
He just loves batting and he made the most of being available for the whole season barring the shock of being dismissed for consecutive ducks against New South Wales and South Australia although that had followed scores of 167 and 117 to start his season. His lowest score in the second half of the regular season was 49 in four innings with his century in Wollongong ensuring there would be no slip-up with the final in sight.

Travis Head (South Australia)

Innings: 14; Runs: 893; Average: 68.69, Hundreds: 3
South Australia's captain was a shining light in another pretty grim season for the team as he filled his boots, either side of the India Test series which saw him lose his place, including a career-best 223 against Western Australia. He would seem likely to return when Australia next play later this year and the selectors will hope that he can show the same type of consistency at the top level to solve the No. 5 spot.

Cameron Green (Western Australia)

Innings: 14; Runs: 922; Average: 76.83, Hundreds: 3
The top-scorer in the competition. A huge season for the young allrounder who broke into the Test team on the back of early-season runs then picked up where he left off after the India series with a career-best 251 against Western Australia having previously fallen for 197 against New South Wales. Expect to see more of his ability to change gears over the coming seasons. The bowling has been harder work as he returns from stress fractures of his back with just three wickets but he has plenty of time on his side.

Josh Inglis (Western Australia)

Innings: 12; Runs: 585; Average: 73.12, Hundreds: 3
Who will follow Tim Paine as Australia's Test keeper? The smart money is on Alex Carey, but Inglis has put his name in the frame and is highly regarded - he was close to both the Test and T20I squads recently. A counterattacking player, he had a strike-rate over 80 in the Shield and can take the game away against tired bowlers, but his best innings was the 115 he made against Victoria coming in at 5 for 114.

Sean Abbott (New South Wales)

Innings: 10; Runs: 525; Average: 75.00; Hundreds: 1 | Wickets: 17; Average: 31.82; Best: 6-89
Without doubt, Abbott is now a fully-fledged allrounder in Shield cricket. He was New South Wales' second-most consistent batsman this summer behind Moises Henriques. Held his nerve to secure a one-wicket victory against Queensland in the game of the season and scored his maiden century during a stand of 189 with Mitchell Starc as part of a stunning come-from-behind win against Tasmania. The wickets dried up a little later on, and a split webbing left him sidelined, but an average of 31 is commendable in a bat-dominated season.

Jackson Bird (Tasmania)

Innings: 12; Runs 196; Average: 17.81 | Wickets: 35; Average: 22.17; Best: 7-18
The time has probably past for Bird to add to his nine Test caps such is the depth of Australia's pace bowling but he remains one of the best domestic operators. To average under 23 in a season where quick bowlers have often toiled is outstanding and though he made the most of an outing in Hobart with the remarkable 7 for 18 against New South Wales he was also a threat on the more docile pitches. The batting had an unexpected uptick, too, with consecutive career-best half-centuries.

Scott Boland (Victoria)

Innings: 12; Wickets: 30; Average: 24.00; Best: 6-61
In a similar bracket to Bird, but Boland has never had the chance to wear the baggy green. A senior figure within a young, rebuilding Victoria team he led the attack with distinction and would cause problems even in the flattest conditions. His 33 overs in the second innings against South Australia at Glenelg was a herculean effort.

Mitchell Swepson (Queensland)

Innings: 4; Wickets: 29; Average: 22.44; Best: 5-55
One of the best parts of the Shield season was to watch Swepson rip his leg-breaks backed up by attacking fields from captain Usman Khawaja. He was superb in the first part of the campaign as Queensland secured two victories in the Adelaide hub. It looked like his summer was over with a neck injury but he recovered to face New South Wales were he produced a Warne-like beauty to fizz back and bowl Daniel Hughes.

Nathan Lyon (New South Wales)

Innings: 14; Wickets: 39; Average: 25.00; Best: 6-21
Three of the top five Shield wicket-takers have been spinners, a notable departure from many recent seasons. Lyon, who played all of New South Wales' matches either side of a Test series which became a struggle with the 400th wicket remaining elusive, finished as the top wicket-taker of the regular season. To see him and Swepson in action together would be exciting. He bowled superbly against Victoria at the SCG to claim his best Shield figures.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo