Image credit – AFP
Moeen Ali, the England all-rounder, has not had the best returns with the white ball at the international level recently. In 2019 he has played five ODIs, averaging just 12 with the bat and failing to pick up a single wicket.
However, a stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2019 seems to have done him a world of good. According to the official IPL player points system, the 31-year-old has been the franchise’s most valuable player this season, with 216 runs and five wickets in 10 games.
Moeen hammered consecutive half-centuries over the last week, and seems to have regained his mojo. “I needed to come and play the IPL,” he told Times of India. “After a long winter with England, and after you play for a team for a long time, you start taking things for granted a little bit. So coming here was refreshing for me to try and improve my game.
“There is a lot of time you can spend in the nets and improve your game, which is one of the best things about the IPL for foreign players. You can put in the hours yourself, and I feel good going back home and getting ready for the World Cup.”
Outstanding half-century from Moeen Ali 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/M8cvFamPCv
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 19, 2019
Even Virat Kohli, Moeen’s captain at RCB, has been impressed by the all-rounder’s performances this season, calling the England international “a game-changer”.
But he will soon have to do without him, with Moeen set to leave on international duty midway through the tournament. The game against Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday, April 24, will be his final IPL appearance this season.”It’s not ideal, obviously,” Moeen said. “[But] the [England] camp is very important.
“It’s worse when there are three games to go, there’s not much cricket left, and you always think, ‘I could’ve played those three games.’ If there were six, seven games, it would be a little more understandable.
Another masterclass from MS Dhoni, another win for RCB, and another misuse of Andre Russell from KKR. It's the IPL daily brief!https://t.co/y0vEuyyAp2
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) April 22, 2019
“But it’s a small window. And knowing that there could be a chance of going through if we win all our games, then you miss out on a potential semifinal and stuff… I’ll keep an eye out and see how they’re going.”
England are set to play a one-off ODI against Ireland on May 3 before taking on Pakistan in a five-match ODI series.