The Early Impact Of Moeen Ali > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - The early impact of Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali at No.3 has come as a breath of fresh air for CSK.
It was the seventh over of Chennai Super Kings' innings and the Wankhede conditions were playing tricks. The shift back to India after a season in the UAE should've brought teams a sense of familiarity with pitches, even without playing at home venues, but they've been thrown a wild curveball at times. Monday evening was one of those times.
Chetan Sakariya, Jaydev Unadkat and Mustafizur Rahman demonstrated the art of taking the pace off the ball, making the batsmen look clumsy and out of tune with their stroke-making. Despite Faf du Plessis eventually finding some joy with premeditation, CSK were left with a tad underwhelming PowerPlay score (46 for 2), considering dew was expected to make its presence felt in the second half.
So when Moeen Ali anticipated a Mustafizur slower ball, held his shape and timed his big hit over deep midwicket for a six, some nerves in the CSK dugout must've calmed. He also overcame Chris Morris's effort to bounce him out in the next over with a squarer, flatter six, and saw CSK add 31 runs in the three overs after the PowerPlay before falling for a 20-ball 26. There was impact written all over his little cameo, but it wasn't even the best of his three outings so far.
In a line-up that's been guilty of batting conservatism at the top, Moeen has come as a breath of fresh air. With his 24-ball 36 against Delhi Capitals and a 31-ball 46 against Punjab Kings, Moeen demonstrated an ability to bring urgency outside of the PowerPlay and a continuity through the middle-overs that CSK lacked last season.
For a side with a deep batting line-up and fluid options through No. 5 to 9 in Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo, the early decision to use Moeen at No. 3 has the makings of a masterstroke.
It also throws a bit of light on a trick that the Royal Challengers Bangalore perhaps missed in 2019, when Moeen played different positions in the 11 games, without the continuity to make any of them his own. He then spent the majority of the 2020 season on the RCB bench.
The difference in the make-up of CSK's top-order affords the England all-rounder a batting spot right where he wants it. And the happy consequence of using Moeen at the top is the cushioned reinstatement of Suresh Raina in the line-up at No.4, who previously held the position at one-drop with unparalleled success.
"He [Moeen] is having an allround aspect to our game that we lacked a little bit last year and his contributions today have been just what we were looking for," Stephen Fleming said after a win in conditions that would've felt the closest to home.
CSK's worst IPL season (last year) was a result of the glaring incongruity between their spin-dominant plans and unfavourable conditions in UAE. Life in 2021 threatened to be no different as they began at Wankhede, which came with the reputation of being at the other end of the conditions spectrum to their home ground in Chennai.
But the wild curveball meant dew didn't show up in its full, usual pomp. A dry ball - summoned as a replacement after Jos Buttler deposited the original (and wet) ball deep into the stands - had a telling impact on how the chase transpired in the middle-overs.
Ravindra Jadeja's double-wicket over, including an early entry for the ball of the tournament to Buttler, saw CSK regain a position of strength. But it was Moeen's three-over burst that truly nipped RR's chase in the bud and left his coach gushing. On a pitch that was suddenly aiding more turn, Moeen fit perfectly into Dhoni's middle-overs spin plans.
In Moeen, Dhoni had a favourable match-up against the left-handed David Miller, who succumbed with the idea of sweeping his way out of trouble against the turning ball. Riyan Parag and Chris Morris aimed for the skies but only reached as far as Jadeja at deep mid-wicket to effectively put an end to their team's limp effort in chase. In the end, Moeen's figures read: 3-0-7-3.
Even with what he's done so far, a full-fledged assessment would be incredibly premature. Yet, as it stands, Moeen has the potential to become one of the best pieces of business at the recent auctions, tying up multiple loose ends for CSK.
Russell, Hetmyer named in provisional WI squad for mega T20I summer
Andre Russell last played for West Indies in early 2020. Cricket West Indies have named a strong 18-man provisional squad for their bumper T20I summer. Andre Russell, one of ...
Shakib, Mustafizur join Bangladesh bio-bubble after relaxed quarantine
The duo's mandatory 14-day quarantine was relaxed to 12 days by the Ministry of Health Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and pacer Mustafizur Rahman joined their national ...
England pick James Bracey, Ollie Robinson for NZ Tests
Bracey has scored 478 runs so far in the county season. England have picked Gloucesershire keeper-bat James Bracey and Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson in the squad for next month'...
Sammy steps down as St Lucia Zouks captain to assume new role
Daren Sammy led the St. Lucia Zouks to the final of CPL 2020 St Lucia Zouks have announced that their captain Daren Sammy will "no longer be a player" in ...
No de Villiers comeback as CSA name squads for West Indies, Ireland tours
De Villiers had hinted at a comeback during the recently-postponed IPL 2021. As Cricket South Africa announced the red and white-ball squads for their upcoming tour of West ...
Newlands bowling quartet wants an end to 'rumour-mongering and innuendo'
WTC final against India would be a fantastic challenge: Kane Williamson
Ban Tech bags Bangladesh home series media rights for BDT 161.5 Crore
Ban Tech would now be negotiating with Gazi TV and T Sports to telecast the series against Sri Lanka Bangladesh Cricket Board officials said on Monday that Ban Tech, a ...
Shiv Sunder Das appointed India Women batting coach
File Photo: Shiv Sunder Das in 2002. Shiv Sunder Das has been appointed as the batting coach of the Indian women's team. The former India opener, a known hand ...
No charges of corruption: ICC concludes investigation on fixing claims by Al Jazeera
ICC concluded that the passages of play in question were 'entirely predictable, and therefore implausible as a fix' Investigating into the "session fixing" claims made by an Al Jazeera documentary ...