The teams: Kings XI Punjab v Gujarat Lions. A well-established, if sometimes troubled Punjab, vs. the brand new Gujarat franchise. Though Gujarat appears contains strong elements of the old Chennai team, the reality is it’s still a brand new franchise, which may come with its own challenges; although the Rising Pune Supergiants did just fine in their first outing. Both sides are stacked with superstar overseas players, and Punjab appears to have a slightly more settled domestic contingent, except of course for Gujarat’s captain, the most capped IPL player of all time – Suresh Raina.
The Venue: IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. Historically known as India’s one true seam paradise, both sides can expect to lean heavily on pace at Mohali. The last T20 played here was the India-Australia game from the WT20, which proved a tricky batting track for all except Kohli.
Our picks for your fantasy cricket team
Brendon McCullum – Do we need to say more than just his name? Opening for Gujarat, McCullum is freshly retired from the international game but will still bring his best to the IPL. If he can see through swinging new ball, expect fireworks and unconventional strokeplay.
Mohit Sharma – An impact player from his CSK days, Mohit will have to find his spot in the relatively unknown but successful pace attack led by Sandeep Sharma and Anureet Singh. His quiet 2015 season and loss of a spot in the Indian national side will mean Mohit comes bringing his A-Game, with everything to play for.
Ishan Kishan – Our *wildcard* pick for today. If he can find his way to Gujarat’s playing XI, this youngster has a bright future ahead of him. He captained India to the runners’ up position in the U-19 World Cup this year, and his leadership experience will be an asset as he learns to navigate the IPL.
You can also check out our post on the key overseas players in each team after the auction, which should help make your minds up. And don’t forget to sign up with OyeCaptain to pick your team and win daily prizes!