Mumbai : The new team of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Lucknow Super Giants and Delhi Capitals will face-to-face here on Thursday. There will also be a clash between the two cricketers and future India captain Lokesh Rahul and Rishabh Pant. They will try to maintain their team’s lead in the opening round of IPL. India will be playing a lot of cricket matches over the next few years and it will be important for national captain Rohit Sharma to take over. Both Rahul and Pant want to strengthen their claim as future captains.

Now with the Australian team, IPL Delhi Capitals’ aggressive batsman David Warner will also join, while all-rounder Marcus Stoinis will join the Lucknow team, which will strengthen the playing XI of both the teams. Warner is expected to replace Tim Seifert in the Capitals squad, while Stoinis will replace either Andrew Tye or Evin Lewis in the Lucknow squad. At present, he is more likely to be included in the playing XI than the tie. The bowling of both the teams has been a matter of concern but the Gautam Gambhir-led Super Giants team has impressed.

With the addition of Jason Holder, the Lucknow team has become stronger and the Delhi team hopes that Prithvi Shaw along with Warner will give them an aggressive start. Lucknow captain Rahul wants Quinton de Kock to repeat his performance against Super Kings.

The Lucknow bowlers, however, will have to rein in Delhi’s batting, which will be further strengthened by Warner’s presence. The team is also waiting for the big innings of Pant and Prithvi. Lalit Yadav’s confidence is increasing with every match but the experienced Mandeep Singh is the weakest link in the batting order. His confidence was shaken as Manjeet Laki moved towards the leg-stump against Ferguson and Hardik Pandya’s deliveries also showed that his confidence was shaken.

Pant and coach Ricky Ponting may give Mandeep another chance. If Mandeep is dropped, the Delhi team will have three options to replace him in the form of Kona Bharat, Sarfaraz Khan and Yash Dhool. Sarfaraz was in fine form during the first season, while Bharat did well against Royal Challengers Bangalore last year when he had few chances.

Talking about Lucknow, Manish Pandey’s batting is a matter of concern for the team. Gambhir is known to support his players and in such a situation, Pandey’s place in the playing XI could be saved. At the same time, it cannot be denied that Lucknow’s bench strength is not strong when it comes to Indian batting options. The team includes Manan Vohra and Uttar Pradesh limited overs captain Karan Sharma. Vohra hasn’t established himself even after spending a decade in the IPL, while Karan has a lot to learn.