KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant, the two enormously gifted cricketers, earmarked as future India captains will be showcasing their tactical acumen when newcomers Lucknow Super Giants square off with Delhi Capitals in an IPL match on Thursday.
Rahul and Pant, both match-winners in their own rights even with the bat, will like to seize the initiative in these early rounds.
IPL is a great platform where a good exhibition of meticulous homework, informed decision making with a dash of punt at critical junctures will hold any leader in good stead.
India will be playing a lot of cricket in next few years and with national captain Rohit Sharma's workload management is paramount, Rahul and Pant will both like to make a strong case for themselves going into the future.
And hence, the availability of the dashing David Warner for Capitals and the dependable Marcus Stoinis for LSG will certainly add to the depth of the playing XIs and bolster the competitive edge.
It is expected that Tim Seifert will make way for Warner in the Capitals line-up while all-rounder Stoinis, who was picked by Lucknow from the draft might replace one among Andrew Tye or Evin Lewis. As of now, replacing Tye looks more imminent.
Both teams have had issues with their bowling but Lucknow under Gautam Gambhir's mentorship, has managed pretty well.
The addition of Jason Holder has made them stronger and Delhi will be hoping that Warner gives them a rollicking start alongside mercurial Prithvi Shaw.
In case of LSG, skipper Rahul two good knocks against CSK and Sunrisers Hyderabad would like that Quinton de Kock also repeats his performance against CSK.
However it is LSG's bowling that needs to stop DC's batting firepower which will grow manifold in Waner's presence and skipper Pant and Shaw also waiting for their big knocks.
While Lalit Yadav is growing in confidence with each passing game, it is veteran batter Mandeep Singh, who is the weakest link in the batting line-up.
The way Mandeep backed towards leg-stump to deliveries from Lockie Ferguson and even Hardik Pandya, didn't make a pleasant sight.
However with LSG's attack not having an express quick in absence of Mark Wood, Pant and coach Riocky Ponting might be tempted to give the former Punjab captain one more chance.
In case, he doesn't get it then the three available options are Kona Bharat, Sarfaraz Khan and Yash Dhull. Sarfaraz was in great form during first-class season while Bharat did well for RCB last year in the few chances that he got.
In case Lucknow, Manish Pandey has looked horribly out of touch but Gambhir is known to back his players which could well save him from getting the axe.
Also there is no denying that LSG's bench strength when it comes to Indian batting back-up isn't great.
The two available players are Manan Vohra, who even after a decade in IPL, has failed to deliver and there is Uttar Pradesh white-ball captain Karan Sharma, who isn't exactly a finished product.