George Bailey Kings XI Punjab Shane Watson Rajasthan Royals
Kings XI Punjab skipper George Bailey and Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Watson will look to outdo each other when they clash in IPL 2015Reuters

Australia cricketers will be the flavour in Pune when Kings XI Punjab lock horns with the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2015 on Friday.

Both teams are led by the current 50-over world champions, with George Bailey captaining KXIP, while Shane Watson is the skipper of Rajasthan Royals. Apart from that, the two sides' hopes in IPL 2015 will largely rest on the shoulders of Australians as well, be that Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Johnson for Kings XI, or Steven Smith and James Faulkner for RR.

Having played as a team and won the World Cup together, it will be interesting to see just how the battle against each other ensues.

Kings XI were the best team in the league stages last season, but tripped up in the match that mattered most – the final – with the Kolkata Knight Riders producing a chase for the ages to take home the title for the second time in three years.

That loss in the final would have been a major jolt for the team from Punjab, still looking for that elusive first title, but Bailey knows his team still have the resources needed to go all the way to the final again, and perhaps this time come out smiling.

"It's been a quick preparation for a lot of our guys," said the Kings XI skipper, who did not get to play too much at the World Cup. "But the whole squad has been playing a lot of cricket and I think we are ready to go.

"We had a very good season last year but it's time for us to regroup and move forward and focus on this year. There is no doubt that we have expectations to go to the final of the tournament and from there anything can happen. But if we play our best cricket, and that's all we can hope for, then we should be reasonably strong."

Reasonably strong is something that can be used to describe the Rajasthan Royals as well, who have more than just those three Aussies to call upon. They have a really good Indian core, with Ainkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair and Stuart Binny the leading lights.

The bowling could be the department which could trip up the Royals, even if they do have the likes of Tim Southee, Dhawal Kulkarni and Pravin Tambe in their lineup.

"We have all been away playing different forms of cricket and everyone's been in terrific form if you see the squad," said Binny, who had to watch from the bench for the entire duration of the World Cup. "Everyone is coming from high performances and highs in the World Cup. So I think the preparation has been short but it has been excellent coming into the tournament."

For the Kings XI, the overseas players pick themselves on their own, with David Miller joining the three Australians in Bailey, Maxwell and Johnson, and much will also depend on how their Indian players fare, particularly the openers – be that Virender Sehwag, Manan Vohra or new recruit Murali Vijay.

The bowling, like the Royals, is a little but suspect, though, but then when you have the likes of Maxwell, Miller and Sehwag in your lineup, there not much need to worry about bowlers is there.

Where to Watch Live

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The IPL 2015 match between KXIP and RR is scheduled for an 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) start with live coverage in India on Sony Six (English), Sony Max (Hindi), Sony Kix (Tamil and Telugu) and Sony Aath (Bengali). Viewers in India can also watch KKR vs MI via online live streaming on HotStar and

Catch the IPL 2015 match in the UK on Sky Sports, while the action can also be live streamed on Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports. Viewers in the Middle East can catch all the match action live on OSN, while the game can also be live streamed on OSN Play.

Audience in the US can watch the KXIP vs RR live on ESPN or ESPN Cricket. Viewers around the world can go to CricketGateway to catch the match live online.

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