IPL 12: Ashwin, Rohit in exciting clash of captaincy

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The two rival sides boast of some star players in their line-up and each team will hope to its best when it matters.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma are considered two of the sharpest minds in Indian cricket.

Just two games each into the season, they have already made news for more than their performances. A face-off between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians at the PCA Stadium here on Saturday would be an exciting clash of captaincy.

Kings XI’S Chris Gayle has been imperious but needs time to take off.

There have been handy cameos from Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller and Mandeep Singh even as K.L. Rahul continues his search for runs. They would be up against the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga, the former clearly the best in the world right now and the latter a master in the shortest format.

KXIP’s bowling hasn’t been exceptional, but with the pitch likely to be dry and slow, the spinners can hope for a better outing. They will have to strike early, though.

Yuvraj Singh’s stroking has been vintage. He would also want to set the record straight against his former side, with whom he had a miserable outing last year.

With Rohit, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard in the mix, KXIP would need its bowlers to be smart.

Controversies have marred both teams’ wins. If Ashwin was slammed for ‘Mankading’ Jos Buttler when the latter threatened to take the game away, Rohit was the beneficiary of a massive umpiring error when Malinga’s no-ball against RCB went unnoticed.

That became the difference between a second loss and the first win for the three-time champion.

Kings XI won all three matches played here in 2018, with Gayle scoring an unbeaten 104 in the last game.

The host would be hoping he continues from where he left.

The Teams (From):

Kings XI Punjab: Ravichandran Ashwin (capt), Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Mayank Agrawal, Karun Nair, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and David Miller, Sam Curran, Varun Chakaravarthy, Nicholas Pooran, Moises Henriques, Hardus Viljoen, Darshan Nalkande, Sarfaraz Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Mandeep Singh, Simran Singh.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Rahul Chahar, Ben Cutting, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ishan Kishan, Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff, Anukul Roy, Rasikh Salam, Anmolpreet Singh, Barinder Sran, Aditya Tare, Suryakumar Yadav, Jayant Yadav and Quinton de Kock.

Match starts at 4 pm.

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