Best XI of the Big Bash League Season 6

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 28:  Mitchell Johnson of the Scorchers carries the BBL trophy after winning the Big Bash League match between the Perth Scorchers and the Sydney Sixers at WACA on January 28, 2017 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
The Scorchers won BBL 06, which was also their third BBL title

The Perth Scorchers won the sixth edition of the Big Bash League on Saturday by beating Sydney Sixers convincingly by 9 wickets with 25 balls to spare.

After having won the toss, the Scorchers sent the Sixers to bat on a fast WACA wicket. The Sixers found themselves in trouble from the very beginning with the top order falling in quick succession. The likes of Johan Botha and Brad Haddin helped them get to a respectable score of 141/9 but it was never going to be enough.

In reply, the Scorchers knocked off the runs in just 15.5 overs. So as we come to the end of the season we create a team based on the best of players in each outfit.

So here is how it goes:

The top order:

#1 Brendon McCullum (captain)- 323 runs

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: Brendon McCullum of the Heat hits the ball over the boundary for a six during the Big Bash League semi final match between the Brisbane Heat and the Sydney Sixers at the The Gabba on January 25, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
McCullum was in sublime form for the Heat

The Brisbane Heat lost in the semis after a spectacular super over finish but not before their talismanic captain had left his mark on the season. Prior to BBL 6, the Gabba had never experienced a sold out game but this season all games were packed to capacity. Now, McCullum has to be credited for this. The former New Zealand star also led from the front to give his side a launch pad every now and then and was thus a key reason behind their success.

He brought the best out of his team-mates by motivating them throughout. He contributed to the team with a few swashbuckling knocks which included an 18-ball fifty against Melbourne Renegades.

#2 Aaron Finch - 354 runs

Finch for much of the season was a man with a mission as he was hell bent on proving the Australian selectors wrong in not picking him for the Pakistan series.

Finch scored 210 of his 354 tournament runs after being told his services in the green and gold would not be required. Besides, the truckloads of runs he kept wickets twice and almost pulled off a thrilling victory for his side bowling the last over (against Perth Scorchers).

Finch was quite brilliant as the leader of the side too putting his part-timers to good use. He scored four fifties and was the lynchpin of the Renegades’ outfit.

In his 354 runs, he hit 15 sixes and 29 boundaries.

#3 Ben Dunk (wicket-keeper) - 364 runs

Before the season began Dunk was part of a mismatch trade where he was swiped for Hamish Kingston by the Hobart Hurricanes. Turning up for the Adelaide Strikers he stuck form from the very beginning and finished as the highest run-scorer in the 2016-17 edition.

It’s quite strange why the Strikers managed only three wins with Dunk batting at the top for them. He failed in just one game where he got out for 0 against table toppers Perth Scorchers and his next lowest score was 31. He scored three half-tons and kept wickets in five of his side’s eight outings. He also picked up his first BBL wicket with his off-spinners.

The middle order

#4 Chris Lynn - 309 runs

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 05:  Chris Lynn of the Heat comes off undefeated on 98 after hitting the winning runs  during the Big Bash League match between the Perth Scorchers and the Brisbane Heat at WACA on January 5, 2017 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Lynn was oustanding in the matches he played

Lynn only featured in five BBL games before he was called for national duties. But he automatically is on the list because of the destruction he caused to the bowling side in those five outings.

He blasted 309 runs for the Brisbane Heat where he hit an astonishing 26 sixes. He got out only twice, therefore, his average was 154.5 and he was striking them at 177.5.

Amazingly he hit nine more sixes than fours and his 98 not out at the WACA is still being hailed as the innings of the tournament. In total, he had three scores of above thirty and each time he went on to get a big one.

#5 Brad Hodge - 286 runs

At 42, he is one of the oldest one still playing the game. His team, the Adelaide Strikers struggled to get going in the tournament but Hodge and Dunk were consistent throughout with their batting.

Whenever his team were in trouble Hodge tried to bail them out of the situations and succeeded on a few occasions but he failed to find a support at the other end. In his eight innings, he scored two fifties, with the best of 56.

Hodge tended to start slowly but grew into his innings, and his lowest score was 17.

All-rounder

#6 Mitchell Marsh- 210 runs, 3 wickets

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 05:  Mitch  Marsh of the Scorchers bowls during the Big Bash League match between the Perth Scorchers and the Brisbane Heat at WACA on January 5, 2017 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Mitchell scored 210 runs and picked up three wickets

He is the only all-rounder to feature on our list. The younger of the two Marsh brother’s Mitchell only played five games for the Perth Scorchers before he got a national team call up.

But he played a key role in his side getting to the final and eventually winning it. The 25-year-old star clobbered his way to 210 runs in the season with an average of 70. He also boasted of a strike rate of 152.17. He also picked up three wickets but actually bowled better than what the figures suggest. His highest score came against the Brisbane Heat where he smashed a quick fire 70.

Spinners

#7 Sunil Narine- 13 wickets

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 12:  Sunil Narine of the Renegades celebrates with Aaron Finch of the Renegades after taking a wicket during the Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Renegades and the Hobart Hurricanes at Etihad Stadium on January 12, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Narine celebrates a dismissal with captain Finch

The spin wizard from West Indies continues to woo the cricketing world. Most batsmen in the competition failed to pick him of the hand and were forced to play him off the surface which is always a big advantage for the bowlers.

Narine went wicketless in just one game and picked up 13 scalps at just under 20 with an economy rate of 7.81 in the remaining matches. The West Indies cricketer was also sent up the order to pinch hit and he did that successfully too for the Renegades.

Narine was used quite brilliantly by Aaron Finch who believed in attacking with him.

#8 Mitchell Swepson - 12 wickets (Brisbane Heat)

Now, this is a spot which has been awarded to Swepson after much debate. The other contestants for the spot were Fawad Ahmed, Adam Zampa, Samuel Badree or even Ish Sodhi, who was outstanding in his three games for the Strikers.

But Swepson is here because of his consistency. He averaged 21.25 and had an economy rate of 7.5. He was a revelation for the Heat in the middle overs where he constantly picked up wickets. His variations too were impressive and it looks like he has a bright future ahead.

Fast Bowlers

#9 Sean Abbott - 20 wickets

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Sean Abbott of the Sydney Sixers celebrates after getting the wicket of Travis Head of the Adelaide Strikers during the Big Bash League match between the Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers at Adelaide Oval on December 31, 2016 in Adelaide, Australia.  (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)
Sean Abbott broke the BBL record of most wickets in a single season

Abbott was a much-improved bowler this season. He took 20 wickets to help his side make it to the finals this year including a four-for against the Heat's in the semi-final clash. He also picked up figures of 5-15 earlier in the season against the Adelaide Strikers which was the best by an Aussie in BBL history.

Abbott was Moises Henriques’ go-to man this season and he did not disappoint his captain either as constantly fooled the rival batsmen with his much-improved change ups.

His form was also the reason why he was given the ball in the super over off the semi-final clash against the Heats. He was certainly not the most economical bowler in the league but consistently picked up crucial wickets for his side.

He also hit the winning runs in a last-over chase against the Heat's and scored 33 off 17 to beat the Stars and make the semi-finals.

#10 Mitchell Johnson - 13 wickets

Johnson proved yet again this season that age is just a number for him. The left-hand pacer representing the Perth Scorchers picked up figures of 4-2-3-3 in the semi-final against the Stars. He was also very tough to score off.

He was the main reason why the Scorchers could defend low totals quite easily this season. He had started off with a 3/33 against the Strikers and kept that form up throughout the tournament.

He was also key in helping the Scorchers secure a final at home. While he isn't as scary as the Johnson of old, he still can give the best batsman in the business quite a few nightmares.

#11 Mark Steketee- 15 wickets

Mark Steketee was only second to Sean Abbott in terms of wickets. The Brisbane Heat pacer snared 15 scalps this season in nine games.He took at least one wicket every game barring one which was the loss to the Sixers earlier in the year. His best bowling figures came against the Strikers where he picked up 3/32.

He complemented the Heat's explosive batting line-up nicely.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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