Three-time Indian T20 League champions Chennai secured the services of off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali for Rs 7 crore in the auction held in February this year.
The 33-year-old England all-rounder had sparked a bidding war during the mini-auction between Chennai and Punjab before MS Dhoni-led side bought Ali for the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league.
Having released Harbhajan Singh, the Chennai franchise were targeting an off-spinning all-rounder from the beginning of the auction and had first targeted swashbuckling all-rounder Glenn Maxwell but they eventually lost out to Bangalore after Virat Kohli’s side roped him for a whopping amount of 14.25 crore.
Ali had earlier played for the Bangalore franchise for three seasons, even though he didn’t feature regularly. The southpaw scored 309 runs in 19 matches at an incredible strike rate of 158.48. He also claimed 10 wickets at a decent economy of 7.13.
Here are three reasons why Moeen Ali is the perfect fit for the three-time champions Chennai:
Moeen Ali is a versatile cricketer
Moeen Ali has simply been a sensational all-rounder for the England cricket team, especially in white-ball cricket. Ali is two-dimensional, he can bowl, he can bat. The 33-year-old can bat at the top of the order, he can also bat in the middle-order as well. Ali can bowl with the new ball also as he has done that in T20I cricket. He is expected to be a great addition to the Chennai franchise.
Playing under MS Dhoni
Chennai captain MS Dhoni likes an off-spinner as they have always had one in his side in the previous editions. This successful franchise had Ravichandran Ashwin and then Harbhajan Singh, especially a finger spinner who could bowl with the new ball as well. Moeen Ali can be a perfect replacement for Harbhajan Singh for the upcoming edition of the league.
Tools to deal with left-handed batsmen in the opposition attack
Chennai have two leg-spinners in Karn Sharma and Imran Tahir while Ravindra Jadeja, Sai Kishore and Mitchell Santner are the left-arm spin-bowling options. Moeen Ali can help cover Chennai's bases and become a vital cog in the side. Moeen is expected to be one of Chennai’s tools to deal with left-handed batsmen in the opposition attack.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Jon Super