The recent season of the IPL saw three-time champions Chennai Super Kings successfully exorcise the demons of the 13th season and return to winning ways as they racked up five wins in seven games.
One of the most evident changes in CSK in IPL 2021 was the intent that its batsmen displayed. And, Parthiv Patel reckoned that Moeen Ali’s ability to continue the momentum that the opening pair of Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad gave.
Batting at No.3, Moeen Ali smashed 206 runs in six outings at an average of 34.33 and a blistering strike rate of 157.25 besides claiming five wickets at an economy of less than 7.
“I think Moeen Ali was the main game-changer for CSK. He can open, he can bat at No.3, which he did really well. He carried on the momentum that Faf and Ruturaj gave. It was good to see him performing so well,” said Parthiv Patel.
Patel further reckoned that the all-round contribution from their batting-unit player a huge role in CSK’s resurgence.
“It was important to make a collective comeback. That is exactly what has happened with CSK. Yes, openers did very well but I think the middle order was the key. Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina got a fifty, Ravindra Jadeja taking the opportunity,” added Patel.
Parthiv Patel lauds CSK skipper MS Dhoni for slotting Moeen Ali at the No.3 spot
Parthiv Patel heaped high praise on MS Dhoni for the manner in which he optimized his resources to the hilt.
“I had no doubts about it. CSK was in my top four even before the tournament started. But I thought the way MS Dhoni handled the team, it was remarkable. When you have to make a comeback you need a strong captain,” said Parthiv.
He also added that Dhoni’s decision to slot in Moeen Ali at the No.3 spot ahead of Suresh Raina was a masterstroke.
The former CSK opener also lauded MS Dhoni for pushing himself down the order in order to allow in-form batters like Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, and Ravindra Jadeja to face the most number of deliveries.
”Everyone thought Suresh Raina will bat at No.3 but it was Moeen Ali. He knew what changes he needed to do. Everyone was thinking that MS Dhoni will come and bat at No.4 or No.5. He took a backseat, he knew that there are guys who are batting well and they should get more number of overs,” signed off Patel.