Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma are considered two of the sharpest minds in Indian cricket.
Just two games each into the 12th season of the IPL, they have already made news for more than their performances with ball and bat respectively.
A face-off at the PCA Stadium on Saturday would be an exciting clash of captaincy as much as it would be of explosive power on either side.
Kings XI Punjab has its task cut out. Chris Gayle has been imperious, as only he can be, but he needs time to take off.
READ: Sanction unlikely for Ravi, Nandan as only 11 Indian umpires for IPL posting
There have been handy cameos from Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller and Mandeep Singh even as K.L. Rahul continues his search for runs.
They would be up against the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga, the former clearly the best in the world right now and the latter a master of the shortest format.
READ: RCB vs MI: Bumrah brilliance, umpire howler hand Mumbai nervy win
KXIP’s bowling too hasn’t been exceptional but with the pitch likely to be dry and slow, the spinners led by Ashwin can hope for a better outing.
They will have to try and strike early, though. Yuvraj Singh’s stroking and hitting has been vintage so far.
He would also want to set the record straight against his former side, with whom he had a miserable outing last year. With Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard in the mix, KXIP would need its bowlers to be smart and accurate.
Controversies have marred both the teams' lone win. If Ashwin was slammed for Mankading Jos Buttler when the latter threatened to take the game away, Sharma was the beneficiary of massive umpiring error when Lasith Malinga’s no-ball off the last delivery on Thursday night against RCB went unnoticed.
Those few centimetres became the difference between a second loss and the first win for the three-time champion.
Punjab won all three matches played here in 2018, with Gayle scoring an unbeaten 104 in the last game. The host would be hoping he continues from where he left.
Latest on Sportstar
- WTC Final 2023, India vs Australia: All You Need To Know, Playing Conditions, squad, live streaming info
- Kane? Osimhen? Who could replace Benzema at Real Madrid?
- Wembanyama could make summer league debut in Sacramento after NBA draft
- Indian sports news wrap, June 5
- French Open: Jabeur eases past Pera to move into quarterfinals