In the third game of the second season of TamilNadu Premier League (TNPL), last year's runners-up Chepauk Super Gillies take on VB Thiruvallur Veerans at Indian Cement Company Ground in Tirunelveli.
Memories of the crushing 122-run defeat in the final of 2016 edition will be playing on the back of the players' mind, but it will be important for the Super Gillies to open the 2017 edition on a fresh note.
The Chennai-based team, coached by former India all-rounder Hemang Badani, will be led by Rajagopal Sathish, who has had stints in the Indian Premier League with Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab. The 36-year-old will bank on Thalaivan Sargunam and Yo Magesh and the experienced trio form the backbone of the team.
Focus on bowlers
Tamil Nadu pacer Antony Dhas will be the man to watch out for as he finished on top of the wicket-takers list last year with 14 scalps at 12.42. Left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore also impressed with 12 wickets last year and he will be key to the captain's plans.
On the other hand, Sargunam is expected to lead the batting unit, which also has H Gopinath and PS Chandran, who made a mark last season.
Thiruvallur will see rising Tamil Nadu star Baba Aparajith at the helm. The team finished sixth last year, with four wins from seven games, but missed out on a playoff spot due to poorer Net Run Rate than the then fourth-placed Kovai Kings.
The 23-year-old skipper top-scored for the team last season and has also played a couple of crucial knocks for India U23 earlier this year in Bangladesh. He also made a mark during Tamil Nadu's winning run at Vijay Hazare Trophy earlier this year.
Thiruvallur will be well served if they perform as a unit and reduce the pressure on Aparajith. The young skipper though believes they are well prepared for the new season.
"Gillies are a good team and they made it to the finals last year. We played some good cricket in the last season, and have prepared well for this time. It will be good match," Aparajith said, as quoted by the New Indian Express.
When does the match start and where to watch it live
The third match of the ongoing TNPL season -- Super Gillies vs Veerans -- will start at 7:15 pm IST.
India: TV Channel: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports Tamil | Live Streaming: Hotstar