Former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir has opined that England all-rounder Moeen Ali could cover a lot of bases for the Chennai Super Kings ahead of the IPL auction 2021. Moeen Ali played for RCB in just three matches in the last IPL and was released by them before the auction. He will now go under the hammer in the upcoming auction at a base price of 2 crores and he is expected to attract a lot of buyers.
Moeen Ali recently showed glimpses of his batting talent in the fourth innings of the second Test where he hit three consecutive sixes of Axar Patel. He can bowl with the new ball and can be used as a floater in the batting order. He provides an extra addition of left-hander in the side which might work in his favour. CSK is a team that might be looking for all-rounder as well as off-spinner and Moeen Ali will be on their radar certainly.
MS Likes An Off-Spinner Reckons Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir opined that Moeen Ali will be the perfect replacement for Harbhajan as he can bat anywhere in the order and his off-spin bowling will be useful in Chennai conditions. With two left-arm spinners and two leg spinners already on the side, Gambhir told that CSK will need to cover the remaining bases. He brought out the fact MS Dhoni has always had off-spinners in the side with the likes of R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh which would tempt to go for Moeen Ali or a K Gowtham in the auction.
“They have let go of Harbhajan Singh. It’s always important to cover all those bases. They have got two leg-spinners. They have got a left-arm spinner who can bat as well. More or less, everything covered. Maybe they would want an off-spinner who can bat a bit because if they have got a couple of left-handers in the opposition, they want an off-spinner.
“MS likes an off-pinner, they have always had one, they had Ashwin and then Harbhajan, especially with a finger spinner who could bowl with the new ball as well,” Gautam Gambhir told Star Sports on Tuesday.
“K Gowtham could be a great addition, I think Moeen Ali will be a smart addition for CSK. Reason? Ali is two-dimensional, he can bowl, he can bat. He can bat at the top of the order, he can bat in the middle-order as well. He can bowl with the new ball also. He has done that in T20I cricket. He will be a great addition,” he added.
“He Can Give You The Firepower” – Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir told that Moeen Ali could cover up a lot of holes in the side by batting at the top of the order with Faf with a left and right combination. He added that with someone like Gayle in Kings XI, Moeen Ali can be given the new ball against the big-hitting left-hander. He mentioned the innings Moeen played in a rank turner at Chennai on the fourth day with a breezy 43 stating the firepower he possesses.
“It will cover a lot of bases as well. You want to start with Faf du Plessis and Ali at the top of the order left and right combination. If you have got someone like Chris Gayle for Kings XI, then against him Moeen can start with the new ball. He can give you the firepower, which we have already seen in this rank-turner in Chennai,” Gautam Gambhir told.
Moeen Ali has played 19 games in the IPL with three fifties scoring 309 runs at a strike rate of 158.5