Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Chennai Super Kings should make way for all-rounder Moeen Ali to open their innings in their IPL 2021 match against Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.
Chennai Super Kings backed youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad, who scored a couple of half-centuries in the back end of their forgettable season in the UAE in 2020, to continue as their opener alongside Faf du Plessis.
Manjrekar feels that although the youngster did not do anything wrong, CSK should try Moeen Ali as their opener in the Punjab Kings game, when asked about the only change that CSK could make for their second game of the season. CSK lost their opener to Delhi Capitals at the same venue.
"CSK have a great batting depth. Dwyane Bravo comes in at No.9 and Sam Curran at No.8 and that tells a lot about their batting depth. So I would want one change, although it would be unfair on his part after his performances last season - drop Ruturaj and promote Moeen as an opener. It will give them a different kind of start with a left-right combination. Moeen also performed well in the previous game and the pair would look great for CSK at the top. said Manjrekar in an exclusive conversation with India TV Cricket.
Moeen opened only twice in IPL before scoring 14 runs in 10 balls. However, across T20 leagues, he has opened 37 times, scoring 1116 runs in 699 balls at a strike rate of 159.7 with a century and six fifties.
For Punjab Kings, Manjrekar wants Riley Meredith to be replaced with a death-overs specialist and young Ravi Bishnoi instead of Murigan Ashwin.
"In the last game, they did a bit of a gamble by playing both Jhye Richardson and Meredith. So If they can rest Meredith and play Jordan instead. He has recently played a series in India for England, and is a specialist death-over bowler. The other change that I feel should happen is M Ashwin to be replaced with Ravi Bishnoi. But maybe Ashwin might get another go," he added.