Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) new recruit Moeen Ali has expressed his excitement upon the prospect of playing under the captaincy of MS Dhoni in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The ice-cool MS Dhoni has captained CSK since the inception of India's premier T20 tournament in 2008 and has won three IPL titles till date (2010, 2011 and 2018). The former Indian captain also holds the record of having won the highest number of matches as captain in the IPL's history (110 out of 188).
Moeen, who had earlier played for Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) from 2018 to 2020, said he couldn't wait to play under the former Indian captain after being told by peers about the positive impact Dhoni has had on their game.
"I've spoken to players who have played under MS Dhoni and they tell me how he improves their game. I believe a great captain does that. I think it's something on every player's wish list to play under MS. I think it's the confidence and the clarity he gives people. It's exciting," Moeen Ali was quoted as saying on CSK's official website.
Moeen Ali was bought by CSK in the 2021 IPL auction in February for ₹7 crore. While the 33-year-old hasn't been able to do much in his 18-match IPL career so far, playing under Dhoni might just be what he needs to be able to create the kind of impact he creates with England's national side.
Speaking about MSD's special ability to remain calm and unflappable, the English allrounder pointed out the importance of having a strong leader in the group while also remarking that CSK has a solid chance of winning the IPL this year.
"It's very important to have strong leadership and coaches who stay calm, who take the pressure off the players as much as they can and are consistent. We are very lucky we have that. At CSK I feel the reality is there for us to win the competition. I'm excited about playing with the players we have here," Moeen Ali said.
Under the astute leadership of MS Dhoni, CSK have qualified for the playoffs in 10 out of the 11 seasons it has participated in. The only blip in their record came during a disastrous last season, where their players failed to adapt to the pace-friendly pitches in UAE and ended the tournament at the 7th position.
Back on home shores and having strengthened their team by buying a slew of new faces, MS Dhoni's men will be eager to erase the bad memories of 2020.
The IPL 2021 is scheduled to kick-off on 9th April, with champions Mumbai Indians taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore at Chennai. The second match of the tournament will be held on 10th April and pips Dhoni's CSK against Rishabh Pant's Delhi Capitals.