IPL 2019: Face-off between Kohli and Dhoni to heighten World Cup undercurrent

Chennai: A major face-off between former and current Indian cricket captains, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli, is expected in the first match of the 12th season of Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Saturday.

The match will be played between Dhoni’s defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

CSK, a three-time IPL winner, is composed of players like Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh.

Kohli, which is a comparatively weaker team, has former South African explosive batsman AB de Villiers. RCB is yet to win an IPL title.

The match is scheduled to begin at 8 pm.

The IPL will not have any opening ceremony this year as the Indian cricket has decided to allocate the money to the families of the Indian paramilitary personnel martyred in the Feb 14 Pulwama terror attack.

Whoever wins on Saturday and whether either of the two giants can last the distance in this edition, with the World Cup round the corner, the IPL presents a perfect opportunity for Dhoni to sharpen his batting touch and Virat to further hone his captaincy skills.