Marsh Sheffield Shield 2019-20
Our Sheffield Shield team of the season
Blues premiership-winning captain Nevill leads a squad with a couple of young guns and a wealth of international experience
18 March 2020, 07:30 AM AEST
1. Daniel Hughes (NSW)
M: 9 | Inns: 18 | Runs: 665 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 3 | Ave: 44.33 | HS: 136
Daniel Hughes didn't know it at the time but he essentially sealed the title for NSW when he struck twin centuries against South Australia at Bankstown Oval in their penultimate game. The left-hander also scored three half-centuries before Christmas and, unusually for an opener, had three second innings not outs – all of which came in victories. With the Blues winning twice as many games as Victoria in second place (six to three), Hughes' steady presence at the top of the order proved vital in their 47th Sheffield Shield title.
2. Joe Burns (Qld)
M: 6 | Inns: 11 | Runs: 515 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 3 | Ave: 51.50 | HS: 135
While he missed four games due to Test (and Australia A) duties, Joe Burns was prolific at the top of the Bulls order when he featured. Only twice was he dismissed for fewer than 20 in 11 innings, while the highlight of his Shield season came against Victoria in round eight when he plundered 135 from 197 balls to have Queensland briefly on track to chase down 355 in the fourth innings. Burns failed to replicate his form in five Tests this summer but was the best performed opener at the level below.
3. Nic Maddinson (Vic)
M: 7 | Inns: 10 | Runs: 780 | 100s: 2| 50s: 5 | Ave: 86.66 | HS: 224
Another astonishing campaign for the enigma that is Nic Maddinson. Unwanted by NSW when he departed in 2018, the left-hander's complete list of returns in two Shield seasons with Victoria is the stuff of dreams; 162, 10*, 108, 29, 136, 61, 24, 33, 224, 37, 37, 69, 22, 59, 95, 105*, 66, 66. It's a remarkably consistent form line for a blazing batsman who hit 23 sixes this season - only one other, Tom Cooper with 16, managed double digits. Having obliterated domestic bowlers, the only question now is whether Maddinson is ready to add to his three Tests.
4. Shaun Marsh (WA)
M: 9 | Inns: 17 | Runs: 724 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 3 | Ave: 48.26 | HS: 214
On the outer from international cricket, the 36-year-old Shaun Marsh put together a uniquely Shaun Marsh kind of season. The highs, on balance, outweigh the lows and win him selection in this team. He topped his career-best with a scintillating double century in a win over Victoria, while the fact WA's only other victory also came when he tonned up (102* against South Australia) was telling. The lows were there though; six single-figure scores including three straight ducks marred his campaign. Yet it's undeniable WA would have been much the poorer without his leadership in the absence of his brother Mitch (WA's appointed captain) for much of the season due to injury and national duty and his deputy Asthon Turner, who was dropped.
5. Cameron Green (WA)
M: 8 | Inns: 15 | Runs: 699 | 100s: 3 | 50s: 1 | Ave: 63.54 | HS: 158no
There is excitement bubbling over Cameron Green, whose breakout season with the bat has him placed as the country's most promising all-round prospect since Shane Watson. Incredibly he began the season at No.8 and 9 and was in the team as a frontline bowler. But after salvaging a draw against Queensland by scoring 87 and 121 (both unbeaten) and suffering a back injury that would stop him bowling for the rest of the season, the 20-year-old became the state's most reliable batsman. He added two more tons to finish as the only man to score three centuries this Shield season, and given he has a first-class bowling average of 21.53, it is surely only a matter of time before national selectors come knocking once he’s fully fit.
6. Tom Cooper (SA)
M: 8 | Inns: 15 | Runs: 765 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 4 | Ave: 54.64 | HS: 271*
Tom Cooper started the season on a high, amassing a monster unbeaten 271 in a controversial Shield clash with Victoria, and carried his form throughout the season. He should have had a second ton against WA but was out for a heartbreaking 99, but the journeyman nevertheless breathed new life into a domestic career that appeared over not so long ago when he was overlooked for a contract with the Redbacks. After another disappointing season from SA, who are on the lookout for a new coach, Cooper's experience now shapes as crucial.
7. Peter Nevill (NSW) (c/wk)
M: 9 | Dis: 31 | Inns: 13 | Runs: 411 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 3 | Ave: 37.36 | HS: 88*
Alex Carey, who hit two tons in four games, is desperately unlucky to miss but Peter Nevill's steady presence as the title-winning skipper sees him win the gloves. The Blues cycled through 21 players over the course of the season (not unusual given NSW’s high number of Australian representatives) and only Nevill and Hughes played in all nine games. In addition to calling the shots in the field and his usual high standards behind the stumps, Nevill had a consistent season with the bat. He passed 20 in 10 of his 13 innings while he might well have had a century to boot had he not run out of partners on 88 against Queensland.
8. Michael Neser (Qld)
M: 6 | Inns: 12 | Wkts: 33 | 5wi: 1 |SR: 43.3 | Ave: 17.30 | BBI: 5-56 | BBM: 7-66
Michael Neser continued to nip at the heels of the Test quicks by putting together another superb campaign with the ball. Selectors had the skilful Queenslander on standby through the Ashes and much of the home summer, and he showed why he's the next fast bowler in line for a debut by finishing behind only teammate Cameron Gannon among leading wicket-takers in the competition despite missing three games. Only once in an innings in which he bowled at least five overs did he go wicketless, while the swing king was once again a menace with the Dukes ball in collecting 14 wickets at 14.57 with it after the KFC BBL break. A Baggy Green awaits should his good form continue.
9. Peter Siddle (Vic)
M: 8 | Inns: 14 | Wkts: 32 | 5wi: 1 | SR: 52.1 | Ave: 19.87 | BBI: 5-49 | BBM: 7-119
Now retired from international cricket, Peter SIddle showed he has not lost the appetite for first-class cricket with another excellent domestic campaign. The veteran was instrumental in Victoria's late push for the title, helping to knock off NSW after Christmas with a five-wicket haul at the SCG, while he was remarkably consistent overall in taking multiple wickets in all but three of his 14 bowling innings. The 35-year-old has plans to go back to play county cricket this season and has vowed to keep playing for Victoria if they want him.
10. Cameron Gannon (Qld)
M: 8 | Inns: 16 | Wkts: 38 | 5wi: 1 | SR: 46.5 | Ave: 20.92 | BBI: 5-94 | BBM: 8-118
The surprise packet of the competition, Cameron Gannon would have been long odds to finish as the Sheffield Shield's leading wicket-taker when the season began. But with 38 wickets at a tick over 20 at the end of it, the right-armer put together the best season of his career. He made headlines in the season's opening round by dismissing Steve Smith for his first duck in 60 first-class innings but showed he wasn't a flash in the plan as he returned five hauls of four wickets or more.
11. Wes Agar (SA)
M: 8 | Inns: 16 | Wkts: 33 | 5wi: 1 | SR: 52.9 | Ave: 24.21 | BBI: 5-53 | BBM: 8-121
Wes Agar moved back to Adelaide overweight last year without a first-class game to his name. He finishes it as the Sheffield Shield's equal second-leading wicket taker and the reigning Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year. Born and raised in Melbourne, Agar has bounced between South Australia and Victoria but has become a crucial cog in the Redbacks attack as batsmen struggled with his height and extra pace this summer. Crucially, his stamina has improved and he now appears, at 23, one of the country's most promising young red-ball bowlers.