Two new captains, with a few key players missing from their teams, will look to begin their sojourn on the best possible note when Shahid Afridi's Pakistan take on Aaron Finch's Australia in a one-off T20 international in Dubai on Sunday.
Afridi was brought back as the T20 captain for Pakistan recently, but the mercurial all-rounder will have to make do without a couple of key players for this T20I against Australia, as Saeed Ajmal, their premier spinner in the limited-overs format, is banned from bowling, while the experienced Mohammad Hafeez, the man who stepped down from captaincy earlier this year, has been ruled out through injury.
If there is one thing that Afridi is never short of, though, is confidence, and the Pakistan skipper is convinced his team can cope without their best T20 bowler.
"We all know the importance of Saeed Ajmal very well, but I'm very confident on the guy Raza Hasan," Afridi was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. "As a captain if I look at my bowling lineup, I know we'll miss Ajmal but we have a very good bunch of guys.
"So, I'm very confident about the bowling lineup. I'm very positive about Raza Hasan, he is a very talented guy and we have some other guys as well who will play in the one-dayers as well. I'm fine with our bowling, I have no issues."
Pakistan have quite often gained a stranglehold on the game courtesy the spin triumvirate of Ajmal, Hafeez and the captain himself, but Afridi is confident his team can overcome the loss of two of the trio.
"For the last four-five years our spinners have done really well -- the combination of Saeed Ajmal, myself and Hafeez," added Afridi. "We've got some very good fast bowlers as well, some youngsters, some good all-rounders.
"As spinners we have done well in Australia and South Africa as well. So we are very balanced and I'm very confident. Both teams are balanced and I think it will be a good game."
Australia are also missing a couple of important players in the mould of Shane Watson and Mitchell Marsh, both who can be destructive when at their best. Finch, who has taken over the captaincy reins from George Bailey, who decided to step down, will have a few new faces in his lineup, and how those players perform on the big stage will probably be the difference between victory and defeat.
"Cameron Boyce is going to come in and make his debut tomorrow," Finch revealed. "He's bowled exceptionally well in the Big Bash and bowled well in the game he played in the Champions League.
"When you have young guys coming in it brings a lot of excitement, a lot of freshness to everyone, not just the guy making his debut, but to everyone in the team."
Where to Watch Live
The match is scheduled for an 8 pm local time (9.30 pm IST, 9 pm PST) start with live coverage in India on Ten Cricket and Ten HD. Viewers in India can watch the match via live streaming online on Ten Sports Live.
PTV Sports will show the match live in Pakistan, while viewers can also choose the option to live stream via PTV Sports Live Streaming. Audience in the UAE can catch the action on Ten Cricket UAE.
Expected lineups: Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Awais Zia, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Shahid Afridi (capt), Bilawal Bhatti, Raza Hasan, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Saad Nasim.
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Cameron Boyce, Kane Richardson.