Dan Harris – Dr Dan’s consistency throughout the tournament was a major factor in South Australia lifting its first trophy in a generation. His attacking orthodoxy proved his strength and as the format develops I expect to see more players with keen eyes and classic techniques thrive at the top of the order.
Chris Gayle – David Barry isn’t easily fooled, excited or pleased. Yet his reaction to the Jamaican’s whirlwind innings in Brisbane is illustrative of why the big dread is a major drawcard to any tournament he graces. “Watching Gayle was worth the price of admission to all three T20’s at the Gabba this season!”
Shaun Marsh – The Son of Swampy played second fiddle to Chris Gayle yet still managed 202 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 156. When settled and fit he is a hard man to bowl to as he has the full range of strokes made doubly dangerous by his precision placement and smart cricketing brain.
Aaron Finch – His form and ability was recognised by the national selectors and the entire nation witnessed what he is capable of during the second T20 international last month. Victoria had a miserable tournament and most of the time he was either resurrecting the innings or chasing an impossible target yet he still averaged mid-forties at a strike rate of 133. To put his efforts in perspective he more than doubled the aggregate of the next best Victorian batsman.
Kieron Pollard – Mostly unstoppable and larger than life there isn’t a ground or a bowler in the country that could contain him. At 23, he is probably the most valuable and gifted T20 cricketer on the planet. He played only four matches, averaged 49 runs at a strike rate of 187 and chimed in with six wickets at a run a ball.
Travis Birt – Did a fine job behind the stumps after becoming Tasmanian ‘keeper through Tim Paine’s injury and national selection. He was dangerous with the bat and was a major reason why the Tiger’s middle-order was consistently better than their opponents.
Dan Christian – With Harris, Pollard, Ferguson and Borgas in front of him in the batting order the skipper of the national indigenous team never had the chance for a long stay at the crease. He scored quickly when required but it was with the ball where he was most important. He broke partnerships regularly in the crucial period between overs 10 and 16 and with team mates Rashid and Lyon finished in the top four wicket takers in the tournament.
Adil Rashid – Started the tournament dropping sitters and bowling tripe and finished it as a star player in a championship winning team. Once he found his feet he opened the bowling with a mixture of seamers, cutters, swingers, drifters, finger and wrist spin and very few found him an easy proposition. His batting and fielding improved too and an argument could be easily constructed as to why he would have made an impact at the World Cup if England had the same confidence in him as Darren Berry and the Redbacks.
Rana Naved – As crafty as a fox and with the uninhibited flair of a disco king Rana was warmly received in Tasmania and reciprocated with some of the finest death bowling in the Big Bash. His slower ball that bowled Khawaja in Sydney was the ball of the tournament, while his mastery of the yorker, at speeds as far apart as 90 and 145kph, was a lesson to all young bowlers and a significant factor in Tasmania’s success.
Patrick Cummins – Only 17, he came into the tournament late yet still managed to top the wicket tally. As you’d expect from a young man in his first foray into State cricket there wasn’t much subtlety in his approach but his tactic of bowling quick and full in the first six overs proved fruitful. Obviously, having Stuart Clark as captain and standing at mid-off throughout helped.
Stuart Clark – In T20 cricket economy matters and the old fella was the only frontline bowler to restrict the batsman to less than a run a ball throughout the tournament. He may no longer rush the batsman but his height and nous proved too difficult for most. Additionally, he was the perfect foil for young Cummins and their combination was crucial to NSW making the final.
Dave Warner – Destructive and brutal he was The Blues best batsman by a distance.
James Hopes – When he played well Queensland did.
Nathan Lyon – The Adelaide Oval groundsman was the fairytale story of the Big Bash.