Second day of T10 League promises to be a cracker
Day Two of the T10 League promises to be a cracker as three matches will quench the thirst of fans at the game's iconic desert venue - the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
In Thursday's first game, Bengal Tigers will take on debutants Northern Warriors. Bengal Tigers, coached by former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming, will look to get off to a winning start. But the Tigers are unlikely to have a walk in the park as their opponents - Northern Warriors - have built their team around exciting West Indian limited overs specialists.
Northern Warriors will be led by two-time World T20 Championships winner Darren Sammy of the West Indies.
The former West Indies captain will be backed by explosive limited overs players like Andre Russell, Dwayne Smith and Lendl Simmons. Bengal Tigers, on the other hand, have an embarrassment of riches in the bowling department.
With the likes of Morne Morkel, Sunil Narine, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi and Zaheer Khan in their team, Tigers might put their own twist to a format built to produce myriad of sixes.
"Dot balls seem to be the goal. We watched the T20 game the other day between Australia and South Africa. If you go too fast, there is still the possibility of losing too many wickets," Bengal Tiger coach Fleming told reporters. "So I think the key thing is if you have wicket-taking bowlers - we have Mujeeb, Morne and others - you should try to get wickets. It's not all about the pressure on the bowlers. There is pressure on the batters as well. And that is why it's an exciting tournament."
In the second match of the day, Kerala Knights will face Sindhis. It could also turn out to be a battle between two superstars of the game - Chris Gayle and Shane Watson.
While Gayle will hope to give the Knights an explosive start, Watson will aim to lead Sindhis with his all-round brilliance.
In the final match of the day, Maratha Arabians will lock horns with Punjabi Legends. It's a match that will bring a lot of Pakistani fans to the stands for one simple reason: Shahid Afridi.
The maverick Pakistani all-rounder returns to the Sharjah stadium where he played many an unforgettable knock in his international career. But his team faces a tough challenge in the first game against the Dwayne Bravo-led Maratha Arabians. In Rashid Khan, James Faulkner and Alex Hales, Maratha Arabians have some seriously good players in this format.
The team also have the services of two legends in the coaching department - Wasim Akram and Virender Sehwag. "The presence of legends like Virender Sehwag and Wasim Akram means that we have the best possible advice for our squad," said Parvez Khan, Maratha Arabians co-owner. - [email protected]
Bengal Tigers vs Northern Warriors
Sindhis vs Kerala Knights
Maratha Arabians vs Punjabi Legends