One new franchise â€“ Rising Pune Supergiants â€“ got off to a sterling start in the IPL, and the Gujarat Lions will want to follow in their footsteps when they face Kings XI Punjab in Mohali. Match 3 of IPL 2016 promises to be a cracker with, hopefully, runs being the order of the day after two low-scorers.
The pitch in Mohali is usually conducive to batting with the ball coming on nicely to the willow, and provided that slowness from the World T20 is a thing of the past, the first high-scorer of IPL 2016 could be on the cards.
Both teams have the batting might to provide plenty of runs, with the Gujarat Lions leaning heavily on their opening duo â€“ be that Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch or McCullum and Dwayne Smith. If McCullum, retired from all forms of international cricket, finds his range, the Kings XI Punjab bowlers would be better off running for cover.
Suresh Raina has been given the captaincy duties for the new franchise, and having worked under MS Dhoni for the last eight years with the Chennai Super Kings, it will be interesting to see if the left-hander inculcates any of his former captain's qualities. Either way, Raina will need to be a strong and decisive captain to bring this new franchise together, working like a well-knit unit.
They certainly have the personnel to do that and it will just be about performing on the night, much like RPS did in their opening match against the Mumbai Indians.
"I have been captain for Uttar Pradesh, I have done it for the Indian team and I have done it in the IPL previously," Raina was quoted as saying by the IPL's official website. "So, this will be interesting for me to just go there and express myself.
"We do have a coach from Australia (Brad Hodge) and he has done really well in the IPL as well as for the Australia team. We do have a lot of youngsters and a lot of experienced players in our side. We are pumped up and looking forward to our game.
"Captain is just a name. You need to have good coaches around, good players around. You need to go there and enjoy. The IPL is like that, you just need to go and enjoy yourself."
The Kings XI certainly did not enjoy themselves last season, finishing bottom of the points able a tear after reaching the final. KXIP will begin the season with a new captain in David Miller who will look to get the best out of the obvious talent that lies in the side.
Shaun Marsh, Manan Vohra, Murali Vijay, whoever plays at the top, need to give KXIP a solid opening, while the onus will be on Glenn Maxwell and Miller to provide the impetus through the middle phase and the final overs.
The bowling will depend on Mitchell Johnson and Mohit Sharma, but, you feel, KXIP's season will be decided on how the batting fares.
Where to Watch Live
Match 3 of IPL 2016 -- KXIP vs Gujarat Lions -- is scheduled for an 8 p.m. IST (3.30 p.m. BST, 10.30 a.m. ET) start. Live coverage of the match on TV will be on Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. Hotstar and Starsports.com will provide the online live streaming options for the IPL 2016 match.
Viewers in the US can watch Kings XI Punjab vs Gujarat Lions live on ESPN, while the game can also be live streamed on Watch ESPN. Sportsnet and Watch Sportsnet are the options for audience in Canada.
OSN Sports Cricket is the place to be to watch the IPL 2016 match live in the Middle East and North Africa, while the match can also be live streamed on OSN Cricket Play. Supersport and Supersport Live Video will give the Tv and online live streaming options for audience in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa.
Viewers from across the world can also watch the IPL 2016 action live online on Cricketgateway.