The ejection of Steve Smith and David Warner from the Indian Premier League (IPL) is likely to impact their respective teams adversely, for not only were they two well-established leaders, they were also batsmen of rare pedigree. However, crisis heralds opportunity; the new captains — Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Ajinkya Rahane (Rajasthan Royals) — will hope to usher in a fresh start and shape their teams with the ideas and principles they inspire.
Williamson and Rahane are both top-quality batsmen in all forms of the game. They are also characters who prioritise the values of fair-play and respect, and are less demonstrative on the field.
With the bat, they can adjust to various situations. Although their Twenty20 career strike-rate — 118.54 (Rahane) and 118.01 (Williamson) — indicate they aren't hard-hitters in the manner of Chris Gayle, they can up the ante if needed.
Their teams will also depend on their captaincy skills in what is likely to be a competitive league.
Who will outshine the other on Monday?