Aakash Chopra has lauded Moeen Ali for dishing out a stupendous all-around performance in Friday’s (May 20) IPL 2022 encounter between the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Rajasthan Royals (RR). Moeen Ali first smoked 93 runs off just 57 deliveries to help CSK set a 151-run target for RR. He then returned figures of 1/21 in his four overs, but could not stop Sanju Samson’s side from winning the match by five wickets with two deliveries to spare.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) overcame a Moeen Ali show and beat Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by five wickets in Match No. 68 of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium – CCI in Mumbai on Friday and with it, sealed a top-two finish on the points table going into the Playoffs. Promoted at No. 5, Ravichandran Ashwin hit an unbeaten 40 off 23 balls to go with his bowling analysis of 4-0-28-1. RR opener Yashasvi Jaiswal scored 59.
Aakash Chopra Reckons Moeen Ali’s Poor Form In The Initial Matches And Injury Related Absence A Reason For Chennai’s Poor IPL 2022
While reviewing the CSK-RR clash in a video shared on his YouTube channel, former Indian batter Aakash Chopra highlighted Moeen Ali’s importance to the defending champions.
The former Indian batter observed: “He (Moeen) is this team’s life, let’s be very honest. Yes, we talk about Ruturaj, Devon Conway and others but if Moeen Ali does not do well, this team has a lot of problems. If you won last year, the main reason for that was Moeen Ali’s form as well.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator reckons the England all-rounder’s slightly indifferent form and injury-enforced absence for some time contributed to CSK’s poor returns in IPL 2022.
Aakash Chopra elaborated: “When he does not fire, the job becomes slightly difficult. If Chennai did not do well this year, one big reason for that was that he was not available for some time, was injured and out of the team, the initial matches were not that good.”
Moeen Ali scored 244 runs at a below-par average of 24.40 in the 10 matches he played in IPL 2022. Friday’s knock was his only half-century in the tournament. Moeen Ali finally showed his prowess with the bat in the ongoing season with an incredible 19-ball half-century vs Rajasthan Royals at the Brabourne Stadium, but it went in vain.
By virtue of this knock, Moeen Ali registered his highest-ever score in the history of the IPL by making 93 runs in 57 balls. Earlier, his best score in the IPL was 66 which came in the 2019 edition which came when he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Aakash Chopra: Moeen Ali Was Absolutely Stellar
Reflecting on Moeen Ali’s knock in Friday’s game, Aakash Chopra pointed out that the left-hander made light of opener Ruturaj Gaikwad’s early dismissal.
He stated: “When the first wicket fell in the first over itself, Trent Boult sent Ruturaj Gaikwad out, it seemed you are stuck. But then comes Moeen Ali and he hit some fantastic shots. He was absolutely stellar.”
The 44-year-old was particularly appreciative of Moeen Ali’s explosive batting in the powerplay overs. The highlight of Moeen Ali’s innings was the 5th over of the innings when he smashed 26 runs in an over bowled by Trent Boult. Moeen Ali hit the first delivery of the over for a six and followed it with five consecutive fours.
Aakash Chopra explained: “Mo in and the ball was going out, this was all we were calling because 75 runs in six overs. This guy hit one six and five fours in one over of Trent Boult, loosened Prasidh Krishna’s nuts and bolts. If you see his play in the powerplay, he flexed his muscles and showed that the guy has the power.”
Aakash Chopra concluded by observing that Moeen Ali was the standout player in the CSK-RR encounter.
He said: “He was unfortunate to miss out on a century, he scored 93. After that, he did bowling also, picked up a wicket and was economical as well. In my opinion, the best player on the day has to be Moeen, there is no doubt about it. He did whatever he could from his side, took a catch as well.”
Moeen Ali smashed 65 runs off the first 24 balls he faced. However, with wickets falling regularly at the other end thereafter, he was forced to tread cautiously and scored 28 runs off the final 33 deliveries he played.