Top 10 Young Australian Cricket Players in 2021
There is a sense that Australian cricket is going through something of a dry spell at the moment.
The disappointment of January’s 2-1 series defeat to a depleted India team (on home soil) is still fresh in the memory, with many believing that Tim Paine is no longer the right man to lead the Test side.
However, competitions like the Sheffield Shield and the Big Bash League have produced plenty of exciting young stars in recent times, while the emergence of guys likes Cameron Green and Will Pucovski points towards a bright future.
With the domestic season in the books, let’s take a look at the best young Australian cricket players in 2021.
Believe it or not, Jake Fraser-McGurk only turned 19 in April.
The explosive batsman burst onto the scene for Victoria back in 2019, scoring a half-century on both his first-class and List A debuts. If you saw him starring in the Big Bash League earlier in the year, you won’t be surprised by that impressive statistic.
In a struggling Melbourne Renegades team, the teenager racked up 127 runs in BBL 10 and produced an eye-catching top score of 40. He also showcased his fielding qualities, taking seven catches throughout the tournament.
The Australia U19 star continued to enhance his glowing reputation during the 2020/21 Sheffield Shield season. If he keeps on developing, he could earn himself a full international call-up in the coming years.
Prior to BBL 10, Tanveer Sangha was somewhat of an unknown quantity. Fast-forward to today, and he is widely regarded as one of the best young Australian cricket players in 2021.
The young leggy finished as the tournament’s leading spin wicket-taker, claiming 21 scalps in 15 matches for the Sydney Thunder.
On top of that, he ended the comp with an economy rate of 8.08 and an average of 18.28.
As you can see, he found himself in good company at the top end of the BBL 10 wicket-taking charts.
- Jhye Richardson – 29
- Ben Dwarshuis – 24
- Mark Steketee – 24
- Wes Agar – 22
- Tanveer Sangha – 22
Having clinched standout figures of 4/14 against the Renegades, Sangha was rewarded for his efforts with a place in Australia’s T20 squad for the series against New Zealand earlier in the year.
If you want to learn more about the Big Bash League’s best young players, check out the post below.
Mackenzie Harvey is another prodigy who used BBL 10 to establish himself as one of the top young Australian cricketers on the scene.
The 20-year-old only chalked up nine innings throughout the tournament, but he still managed to finish as the Renegades’ third-most prolific batsman – scoring 198 runs.
Averaging 28.29, Harvey outshined struggling Gades captain Aaron Finch and played with a maturity far beyond his years. His match-winning knock against the Stars – 47 runs off 21 balls – certainly made people stand up and take notice.
The left-hander shone in the junior National Championships but has struggled to adapt to the demands of grade cricket.
Still, Harvey has a big future ahead of him on the T20 stage – and that will only increase his chances of nailing down a place for Victoria.
It is difficult to think of a scarier sight than Wes Agar charging in with the ball in his hands.
The 6ft+ paceman is not built like a stereotypical quick bowler; he looks more like a stocky rugby player. Still, the powerful seamer has become one of the most talked-about young bowlers in Australian cricket.
Agar burst onto the scene for South Australia two years ago, leading the team for wickets in both the Sheffield Shield and the Marsh Cup during the 2019/20 season. He failed to emulate his heroics in the previous campaign, but he is still highly thought of.
Having led the Adelade Strikers’ attack in BBL 10, the 23-year-old has the potential to represent his country in all three formats of the game.
The 2020 Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, Agar is bound to go far.
You did not think I was going to talk about the best young Australian cricket players in 2021 without mentioning Cameron Green, did you?
It is easy to forget that Green is still just 21. After all, the all-rounder has already represented his country at Test and ODI level – not to mention his recent exploits for Western Australia.
Green is viewed as Australia’s next great all-rounder, although his efforts with the bat have been gaining him the most recognition lately.
|SHEFFIELD SHIELD (2020/21) – TOP RUN-SCORERS|
After Green finished the 2020/21 Shield campaign as the comp’s leading run-scorer, there is absolutely no denying that he’s destined for greatness.
I mean, the young gun scored 251 runs in a single innings and clocked up three centuries.
Fans of Aussie cricket are understandably excited about watching Green wear the Baggy Green in years to come. See what I did there?
If it wasn’t for the exploits of Alex Hales and James Vince, Josh Philippe would have found himself among the BBL 10 stat leaders.
The wicketkeeper-batsman shone for the Sydney Sixers throughout the tournament, finishing third on the run-scoring leaderboard – 29 behind Vince and 35 behind Hales.
Oh, and let’s not forget that the 23-year-old was named Player of the Tournament.
With Alex Carey seemingly the number-one wicketkeeper for Australia in white-ball cricket, Philippe may have to wait for a shot at that role. However, that doesn’t mean to say that he won’t get plenty of opportunities at international level.
The Western Australian made his T20I debut back in February and is expected to feature on a regular basis from now on.
Not may Aussie youngsters can say they’ve played in the Indian Premier League; Philippe already has games for the Royal Challengers Bangalore under his belt.
Xavier Bartlett is by no means the quickest pacemen, but what he lacks in speed, he more than makes up for with his unerring accuracy and ability to bowl a consistent length.
Despite only featuring in six matches for Queensland in the 2020/21 Sheffield Shield campaign, the 22-year-old managed to pick up 19 wickets and enhanced his prospects of becoming a key performer for his side in future seasons.
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Of course, guys like Mitchell Swepson and Brendan Doggett are currently ahead of him in the Bulls’ pecking order. But there is no reason why he cannot become an important part of Queensland’s bowling attack.
The Bulls have toyed with several different pace options in recent times, although it feels as though Bartlett is a reliable choice.
It is no secret that Max Bryant is one of Australia’s most exciting young batsmen.
The big-hitting brute has already become a key performer for the Brisbane Heat, clocking up almost 800 runs across three Big Bash League seasons. With numbers like that, it should not be too long before he is given more responsibilities for Queensland.
Interestingly, Bryant’s sporting career could have taken a different route. A keen rugby league player, Bryant was offered a development contract by the Gold Coast Titans when he was 17, but he opted to focus on cricket.
It goes without saying that Aussie cricket fans are happy that Bryant made that decision!
I’m well aware that I have included plenty of white-ball specialists on this list, but let’s face it – Will Pucovski is a genuine Test star in the making.
In fact, the 23-year-old was handed his Australian Test debut earlier in the year.
The Victorian scored an outstanding 62 in his maiden Test innings before picking up an unfortunate shoulder injury in the field.
His Test debut was ultimately cut short, although he is expected to play a pivotal role for Australia’s red-ball side down the line.
Having opening struggled with his mental health, as well as sustaining multiple concussions, it is safe to say that everyone is desperate to see Pucovski succeed.
If the early stages of his career are anything to go by, I’m confident that Pucovski will blossom into a top Test player.
Will Sutherland announced himself on the Sheffield Shield scene in style, collecting two five-wicket hauls in the final two matches of the 2019/20 season. Since then, he hasn’t looked back.
Finishing the previous campaign with 18 wickets and an efficient economy rate of 2.83, the Victorian all-rounder looks set to break onto the international scene in the not-too-distant future.
The 21-year-old already has a couple of one-day 50s to his name, proving that he is more than capable with the bat. But there is no denying that Sutherland’s main strength is his bowling.
Strong through the crease, Sutherland has all the makings of an international all-rounder. Let’s just hope that he can fulfill his potential.
Closing Thoughts on the Best Young Aussie Cricketers
The Test side may be heading towards the end of an era, but I think the future of Australian cricket is in good hands.
I may have only covered ten of the best young Australian cricket players in 2021. However, there are plenty of other names that deserve a mention.
New South Wales batsman Oliver Davies is destined for big things, Matthew Gilkes could easily challenge Philippe for the wicketkeeper spot in years to come, while Lloyd Pope is a hugely promising leg spinner.
If you have any other top young Australian cricketers on your radar, feel free to share your suggestions in the comments section below.
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