He’s always MS Dhoni’s first pick of man to go and pick up wickets under pressure: AB de Villiers on Moeen Ali


South African star batter AB de Villiers praised the Chennai Super King off-spinner Moen Ali after his Player of the Match performance against Lucknow Super Giants on Monday and said Ali’s wicket-taking ability under pressure will make him the go-to man for skipper MS Dhoni.

Speaking on Jio Cinema de Villiers said, “He’s always Dhoni’s first pick of man to go and pick up wickets under pressure. I thought he should’ve bowled a little earlier but MS the master and the guru, he always knows better.”

Moeen Ali starred with the ball picking up four wickets as the hosts defeated LSG by 12 runs. Ali picked KL Rahul which tilted the game in favour of CSK. Former CSK player Suresh Raina speaking of it said, “Whenever he bowls, he keeps the ball away from the batter and Mahi bhai knows this because KL Rahul is an important player for India and an important player in the IPL who has scored 600 runs before.”

Batting first, CSK was off to a flyer with a superb knock from the classy Ruturaj Gaikwad and Kiwi opener Devon Conway, setting up the platform for CSK to post a big total. Gaikwad toyed with the LSG bowlers and made batting look easy. His exit slowed things down, but late cameos from Rayudu and Dhoni powered CSK to 217/7 in 20 overs.

In reply, LSG was off to a blistering start with KL Rahul and Kayel Mayers. The West Indian smashed a 21-ball 50 to set Lucknow on track to chase the total. “He puts his backfoot down and that is an anchor for his shots, whether backfoot or front foot. He almost flinches with his front foot a bit, just gets those toes and that gives him a great base to hit the ball anywhere in the park. When he’s standing, his head is nice and upright, the technique is there, and the strokes are magical,” De Villers said.

Earlier in the game, Dhoni smashed LSG pacer Mark Wood for two massive sixes in the final over of the innings and in the process completed 5000 IPL runs. Another former CSK player Robin Uthappa speaking on the difficulty of hitting Wood said, “The fastest bowler in the world is bowling to him from the front and at the age of 41, don’t forget, at that age on the second delivery at a pace of 145-147 (kmh), hitting a six down square leg isn’t easy, especially on one leg.”


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