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Best Young BBL Players in 2021 – Phillipe, Sangha, and More

| February 9, 2021 3:31 am PDT
Best Young BBL Players in 2021

Since its inception in 2011, the Big Bash League has continuously churned out future stars of T20 cricket – and BBL 10 was no exception.

The Sydney Sixers secured back-to-back titles in 2021, beating the Perth Scorchers in the final. But along the way, numerous youngsters staked their claim to be considered among the best young players in the Big Bash League.

Players like Josh Philippe and Wes Agar continued to establish themselves on the T20 stage, while debutants such as Tanveer Sangha and Peter Hatzoglu burst onto the scene in style.

But who were the top young players in BBL 10? Join me as I assess the best young BBL players in 2021.

Josh Philippe – Sydney Sixers

When it comes to talking about the best young players in the Big Bash League, one name instantly springs to mind – Josh Philippe.

Not only did the 23-year-old finish as the third-highest run-scorer in BBL 10, but he was also named Player of the Tournament as the Sixers romped to back-to-back titles.

For someone so young, Philippe’s confidence at the crease is nothing short of remarkable. The Western Australian has just about every shot in his repertoire – and he’s a seriously good wicket-keeper, too!

Averaging 31.75 from 16 matches, Phillipe smashed 508 runs during BBL 10. With a high score of 95 and a strike rate of 149.41, it is surely only a matter of time before he lights up the international scene.

Player Team Matches Runs Average Strike Rate
Alex Hales Sydney Thunder 15 543 38.78 161.60
James Vince Sydney Sixers 16 537 38.35 143.58
Josh Philippe Sydney Sixers 16 508 31.75 149.41
Chris Lynn Brisbane Heat 13 458 35.23 154.72
Colin Munro Perth Scorchers 16 443 31.64 128.03

Looking at the table above, I don’t think that anybody can argue that Philippe isn’t the best young BBL player in 2021.

Tanveer Sangha – Sydney Thunder

If you’re familiar with T20 cricket, chances are that you would have already known a thing or two about Philippe before BBL 10 got underway. However, you may not have heard of Tanveer Sangha.

But following a phenomenal breakthrough season, there is no denying that Sangha is now one of the Big Bash League’s top young players.

The Thunder eventually bowed out in the Knockout, yet Sangha still managed to finish as the tournament’s leading spin-bowling wicket-taker. Oh, and he only turned 19 a few weeks before the season kicked off.

After notching up memorable figures of 4/14 against the Renegades, Sangha finished the campaign with 21 wickets. In fact, only four players claimed more scalps throughout the competition.

Player Team Matches Wickets Average Economy
Jhye Richardson Perth Scorchers 17 29 16.31 7.69
Ben Dwarshuis Sydney Sixers 13 24 16.79 8.85
Mark Steketee Brisbane Heat 16 24 21.75 9.26
Wes Agar Adelaide Strikers 15 22 20.77 8.35
Tanveer Sangha Sydney Thunder 15 21 18.28 8.08

Having gone from Big Bash debutant to Australia international in a matter of months, Sangha must be viewed as of the best young BBL 10 players.

Aaron Hardie – Perth Scorchers

If you’re looking for the best young all-rounder from BBL 10 – look no further than Aaron Hardie.

Despite featuring in just two Big Bash matches before, the English-born Aussie played every single game for the Scorchers this year and ended up playing a pivotal role in his team’s run to the final.

Generally coming in at number seven, the 22-year-old still managed to score 123 runs in nine innings – averaging 17.57. Better still, he took ten wickets throughout the tournament – claiming 3/46 in the challenger.

Hardie also established himself as one of the best fielders in the Big Bash League, taking ten catches during the season. Below is a list of the top catch-takers from BBL 10.

  • Jordan Silk (Sydney Sixers) – 16
  • Dan Christian (Sydney Sixers) – 13
  • Hilton Cartwright (Melbourne Stars) – 10
  • Aaron Hardie (Perth Scorchers) – 10
  • Cameron Green (Sydney Thunder) – 9

Hardie was undoubtedly one of the best all-rounder performers last season, making him one of the top young players from BBL 10.

Wes Agar – Adelaide Strikers

Wes Agar turned 24 the day before the BBL 10 final, meaning he isn’t exactly a spring chicken anymore. But in my opinion, it wouldn’t be fair to talk about the best young players in the Big Bash League without mentioning the Strikers’ right-arm paceman.

We already knew that Agar was a special talent before BBL 10, right? I mean, he was named the 2020 Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, so he has clearly been doing a lot of things right.

But over the course of BBL 10, Agar cemented his status as one of the Big Bash League’s greatest bowling threats.

Despite often being given the ball during the Power Surge, Agar finished the competition with a hugely respectable economy rate of 8.35. He also ended up fourth on the wicket-taking leaderboard, claiming 22 scalps.

Agar may not be among the very youngest players in the Big Bash League, but at 24, it still feels like the best is yet to come from the intimidating quickie.

Sam Harper – Melbourne Renegades

It is no secret that the Renegades endured another disappointing BBL campaign this year. Still, if there is one positive that the franchise can take from the previous season, it’s the emergence of their young players.

The Renegades’ squad is brimming with exciting youngsters – and it could be argued that Sam Harper is the best of the bunch.

Like the majority of his team-mates, Harper struggled for consistency during the early stages of the tournament. But after finishing the season by smashing 178 runs across his final four appearances, he shot up the run-scoring charts.

Player Matches Runs Average Strike Rate
Sam Harper 14 351 27.00 124.02
Shaun Marsh 12 312 26.00 126.28
Mackenzie Harvey 10 198 28.28 135.61
Aaron Finch 13 179 13.76 113.29
Beau Webster 12 160 22.85 125.00

In fact, Harper ended up sixteenth on the overall leaderboard. Considering that the Renegades finished eight points adrift at the bottom of the standings, that is a highly commendable achievement.

Following half-centuries against the Hurricanes, the Stars, and the Heat, Harper was definitely one of the top young players in BBL 10.

Oliver Davies – Sydney Thunder

Oliver Davies found himself out of the Thunder team towards the end of the campaign following a series of low scores. But if his opening few performances are anything to go by, the big-hitting batsman will almost certainly light up the Big Bash League in the coming years.

The 20-year-old impressed on debut, smashing 36 off 22 against the Scorchers. A few days later, he was his side’s top scorer as the Thunder thrashed the Renegades by 129 runs.

Remarkably, Davies struck five straight maximums against the Gades – scoring 48 runs off just 23 balls. It is worth pointing out that he also hit four consecutive sixes against one of the competition’s most experienced bowlers – Mohammad Nabi.

I’m expecting Davies to continue to establish himself as one of the best young T20 players in 2021.

Mackenzie Harvey – Melbourne Renegades

At just 20, Mackenzie Harvey has got a big future ahead of him.

Alongside fellow batsman Harper, the left-hander was one of the bright spots in an otherwise gloomy campaign for the Renegades.

Harvey only featured in nine BBL 10 innings with the bat, yet he was still able to finish third on the Gades’ run-scoring leaderboard. Having racked up 198 runs with a strike rate of 135.62, I’m already looking forward to watching the youngster take to the field next season.

Innings Runs Average Strike Rate High Score Sixes Fours
9 198 28.29 135.62 47 9 16

Harvey produced plenty of memorable moments during the campaign, but his match-winning knock against the Stars will be remembered as his standout display. The prodigy smashed an unbeaten 47 off just 21 deliveries to hand his team a rare win over their Melbourne rivals.

Ben Manenti – Sydney Sixers

If it wasn’t for the Sixers’ quality bowling attack, I’m sure that Ben Manenti would have played a lot more than eight games in BBL 10. But whenever he was given an opportunity, the 23-year-old spinner showcased his talent.

The Sydney native may have only picked up five wickets, yet his eye-catching economy rate (7.23) underlines his efficiency with the ball.

As you can see from the list below, Manenti was the Sixers’ second-most economical bowler in BBL 10.

  • Steve O’Keefe – 6.93
  • Ben Manenti – 7.23
  • Jackson Bird – 7.41
  • Carlos Brathwaite – 8.02
  • Dan Christian – 8.84
  • Ben Dwarshuis – 8.85
  • Sean Abbott – 9.35
  • Jake Ball – 11.12

With veteran Steve O’Keefe now in the twilight of his career, Manenti looks set to become a key part of the Sixers’ bowling attack.

Peter Hatzoglu – Melbourne Renegades

Not so long ago, Peter Hatzoglu was playing third-grade cricket in Melbourne. Following a remarkable breakthrough season, the leg-spinner is now one of the best young players in the Big Bash League.

As we know, the Gades endured a campaign to forget. But on a personal level, things could not have gone much better for Hatzoglu.

Claiming 17 scalps in BBL 10, the newcomer snuck into the tournament’s top ten wicket-takers. Behind Tanveer Sangha (21) and Adam Zampa (19), he finished as the third-most prolific spinner in the Big Bash League.

Not only will Hatzoglu be one of the best young BBL players for years to come, but his recent performances could also earn him deals overseas. Indeed, franchises from both the IPL and T20 Blast could benefit greatly from his services.

The Wrap-Up

Every year, the Big Bash League produces new stars. But it could be argued that BBL 10 was the best year for breakthrough players to date.

I mean, prodigies like Max Bryant, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Xavier Bartlett, and Zak Evans didn’t even make it onto my list of the tournament’s top youngsters. But they are all still young enough to stake their claim next season.

With the T20 World Cup taking place later this year, we are likely to see many of the players in this post featuring for their respective countries on the biggest stage of all.

If you want to look ahead to the tournament, check out my early betting guide for the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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