Daniel Vettori, who in the past worked with RCB as the coach, has reckoned that Moeen Ali is a prototypical CSK player, with his all-round ability and his ability to open the batting. Sanjay Manjrekar added that he would love to see Sam Curran bat at No.5 for CSK this season, after Ambati Rayudu.
While several franchises have not had too many issues with their setup, Chennai Super Kings would walk into the season with as many as three different playing combinations for the opening fixture. With the purchase of Moeen Ali, the franchise has extended its all-rounders base, allowing MS Dhoni to be flexible with the batting order.
The return of Suresh Raina, who presumably would bat at No.3, would too allow for a flexible middle-order. However, both Daniel Vettori and Sanjay Manjrekar were of the opinion that the English all-rounder could open the batting for the Men in Yellow, especially in a place where they lack impetus.
“Moeen Ali seems to be the prototypical CSK player, his all-round ability both with the bat and the ball. We can see him opening the batting and also in the middle-order and I know Chennai loves those dynamic players. They paid a lot for him in the Auction as well, so they will expect a lot from him,” Daniel Vettori told ESPNCricinfo.
On the other hand, Manjrekar lavishly praised the fellow English all-rounder Sam Curran, admitting that he would work more of as a ‘batting all-rounder’ in this year’s setup for the three-time IPL champions.
“I don’t know about MS but I have made room for Moeen Ali. I have Ali opening, I have Bravo as well in the team and Sam Curran as well. Sam Curran is one guy who has improved leaps and bounds in the past year and he is one player that would be crucial to the team. He is a guy who I will be looking at as a batting all-rounder at No.5,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
While Manjrekar debated that having Moeen at the top of the order would allow for a great batting depth, it would come at the cost of Ruturaj Gaikwad, who finished last season with three half-centuries on the trot.
“If Moeen opens with Faf, then you are looking at CSK with a great batting depth, Shardul Thakur at 8 and plenty of batting depth. Things will look good for CSK if Moeen opens the batting and performs well,” Manjrekar added.
However, both of them agreed that Curran could heavily feature in the CSK middle-order, batting anywhere between No.4 to No.7 in the setup, depending on the conditions and situation in hand.
“It would be interesting to see the number of positions that Sam Curran would be batting at, Curran, Thakur and Jadeja all have the batting prowess to take the game away from the opposition. We can see him bat as higher as No.4 to all the way at No.9 for Chennai this season,” Vettori concluded.