New Delhi: Ever since the opening season of Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina have been two vital cogs behind the enormous success of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the tournament.
While the skipper took the fan base of the franchise to a different level with his unmatchable leadership skills, Raina became the run-machine of the tournament with his blistering knocks.
Today, for the first time, the duo will once again hit the field together, although for different teams.
While Dhoni will be leading the Rising Pune Supergiants, Raina will lead another new franchise Gujarat Lions.
Having spent eight years together with a franchise, both the players are totally aware of the strengths and weaknesses of not only each other, but also of other cricketers, who represented CSK along with them.
It would be interesting to see about the strategies these two will come up for today's match. It will also be a delight for the fans, if Raina decides to bowl an over or two against his former CSK skipper.
Rising Pune Supergiants already proved their intentions by thrashing defending champions Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets in the series opener.
With plenty of match-winners in both the teams, today's encounter between the two new franchises also promises to be a high-voltage match.
Squads of both the teams:
Rising Pune Supergiants IPL squad: MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, Steven Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Baba Aparajith
Ashwin Murugan, Rajat Bhatia, Ashoke Dinda, Scott Boland, Peter Handscomb, RP Singh, Adam Zampa, Ishwar Pandey, Deepak Chahar, Jaskaran Singh,, Ankush Bains, Ankit Sharma.
Gujarat Lions IPL squad: Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe, Amit Mishra
Dale Steyn, Aaron Finch, Eklavya Dwivedi, Andrew Tye, Ishan Kishan, Jaydev Shah, Shadab Jakati, Pradeep Sangwan, Shivil Kaushik, Aksh Deep Nath, Sarabjeet Ladda, Umang Sharma, Paras Dogra.