Chennai is coming into the Indian T20 League 2022 as the defending champions. They will begin their journey to defend the title with a match against Kolkata on the opening day of the tournament on 26th March.
Moeen Ali has been an important part of the team, the last season in their title-winning effort. But this year due to issues over the clearance of his Indian visa, Moeen will not be able to play for the team in their first match. However, in the latest development, Moeen Ali will be available for selection from the second match of the team. Dwayne Bravo, Devon Conway, and Dwaine Pretorius are likely to make it to the final eleven in the first match. So, for the first match, Chennai will have to look at other options to replace Moeen Ali as the fourth overseas player.
Here we take a look at the three replacements for Chennai.
1. Dwaine Pretorius: Moeen Ali is an all-rounder who contributes with both bat and ball. So, the best replacement for the English cricketer would be the South African all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius. Dwaine Pretorius is a very handy batsman and a useful medium-pace bowler.
In international T20s Pretorius has a strike rate of 161.9 and bowls with an economy rate of 7.76. SO, in Ali’s absence, the team can use Pretorius as he can go up the order and increase the scoring rate and also bowl a few overs for the team in the middle.
2. Mitchell Santner: Mitchell Santner is a left-arm spinner and left-hand batsman from New Zealand. He is known as a very economical bowler and a handy batsman down the order.
Santner has a strike rate of 123.4 in T20Is with the bat and an economy rate of 7.27 while bowling. Though he can bat but having him in the top order carrying out Moeen Ali’s role might not be what Chennai would ideally want. So, Chennai might look to play Hangrekar or Shivam Dube at the top order and use Santner as a lower-order batsman and a proper bowling option for the middle overs.
3. Maheesh Theeksana: If in Moeen Ali’s Absence Chennai decides to strengthen their bowling then Theeksana might be the option they will look at. He has been included in the squad by Chennai taking his mystery spinner reputation into account. In his T20 career, Theeksana has picked up 51 wickets at an average of 20.6 and an economy rate of 6.04. So, Chennai may opt to go with an Indian option for the top order and Theeksana as a proper bowler in the team.