New Delhi: The Indian Premier League ninth edition starts from April 9 with the opening ceremony being held a day earlier.
This season there is a new sense of excitement, given the entry of two new teams, Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions, who replaced the suspended sides Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals respectively.
All eyes will be on these two sides, who boast of some big names. Meanwhile, it will be also interesting to see the other six sides battling for glory, as new skippers don the hat in couple of teams.
Here is a look at all eight captains ahead of this season's IPL.
Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore): Kohli had a dream run in the recently concluded ICC World T20 and would love to carry forward with the confidence in the RCB team. RCB boasts of some serious match winners and stars, but haven't cracked the code yet in winning the title. Kohli will want to break the jinx and see his aggressive nature help the side in crossing the line.
MS Dhoni (Rising Pune Supergiants): Having enjoyed so much success with the now defunct Chennai Super Kings for a period of 8 years, Dhoni has plenty under his platter in his new team Pune. Dhoni will miss CSK but on the other hand his experience will guide him to build confidence in his new side and fans will hope his midas touch continues in IPL.
Gautam Gambhir (Kolkata Knight Riders): The Delhi boy has led KKR from 2009 season and saw the side bag two titles under his belt. KKR has banked on their settled side and have not chipped and changed much. Gambhir will hope for some consistency from his side and the skipper's faith on youngsters and some proven T20 names will make KKR an interesting outfit to watch out for.
Suresh Raina (Gujarat Lions): Suresh Raina will be donning the captain's hat for the first time, that too for a new side altogether. Raina played under MS Dhoni for CSK over these years and enjoyed a dream run for the side. It will be interesting to see how Raina guides Gujarat Lions and gets the team to perform as an unit.
David Miller (Kings XI Punjab): The South African batsman has been a pivotal player for his side KXIP and takes over the captaincy role from George Bailey. Miller will hope to repay the faith the management has handed him and the Proteas man will hope to come good in his new role and shine.
Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians): The talented Indian opening batsman had led his side to the trophy last year and will be eager to continue in a similar fashion this term too. Rohit has proved to be a good leader and with some experienced names in the team, he will add the advantage to his duties.
David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad): Australia's Warner will hope to lead his side well this season and have two other international captains in Eoin Morgan and Kane Williamson to help him through. Warner will hope his bat makes the difference for his side that looks pretty solid on paper.
Zaheer Khan (Delhi Daredevils): After two years with JP Duminy, the DD franchise has gone with veteran Zaheer Khan as their skipper this term. Zaheer has bags of experience under his belt but will he last the entire tourney and how good will he be as a skipper? These are some questions DD will hope which clicks in their favour.
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