Cricket’s royal Saturday - King Yuvi versus Superking Dhoni

April 18th, 2008 - 1:40 pm ICT by admin  

By Jaideep Sarin
Mohali (Punjab), April 18 (IANS) When the Kings (Kings XI Punjab - the Mohali team) clash with the Superkings (Chennai Superkings - the Chennai team) at the newly launched Indian Premier League (IPL) here Saturday, pyrotechnics are guaranteed. Touted as two of the strongest in the eight-team tournament, the Yuvraj Singh-led Kings XI Punjab will try to take home ground advantage over the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Superkings in the T20 game at the magnificent Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) ground here.

Yuvraj - Yuvi to friends in his hometown Chandigarh - may want to repeat his six sixes in an over that he hit in South Africa last year in the inaugural T20 world cup.

“That was making history. Such things do not happen everyday. But this is cricket and I hope it happens again,” Yuvi said here as he mixed practice with zipping around in the city in his yellow BMW sports car to promote the IPL.

Yuvi has on his side Australian Brett Lee, one of the fastest bowlers in the world, the maverick S. Sreesanth, the dependable Irfan Pathan and spinners Piyush Chawla and Romesh Powar.

On the batting front, Yuvraj - the icon player of the Mohali team co-owned by Bollywood actress Preity Zinta and her industrialist boyfriend Ness Wadia - will lead from the front with ample support from Sri Lankan strikers Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardane, Australian James Hopes and the ever-consistent local Punjab batsman Pankaj Dharmani.

But not only does the Chennai team have as many stars, Yuvraj and his gang will have to decode the thinking mind of Dhoni - India’s T20 world cup winning captain.

Dhoni’s team has hard-hitting Australian opener Mathew Hayden, the ever-deadly spinner Muthiah Murlitharan, Australian batsman Michael Hussey and former New Zealander skipper Stephen Fleming.

“It will be great exposure to be playing with top players from other countries in your side. This will be interesting,” Fleming summed it up.

Players from both sides, barring Dhoni himself, who arrived here two days ago, have been hard at practice.

“The boys are very excited and raring to go for the first match. Chennai has got a good balanced team and it will be a delight for the audience to see a thrilling encounter. We have a young team with world-class all-rounders. The boys are in good form; had some good sessions on the net and we hope to come on top,” Kings XI Punjab coach Tom Moody said.

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