Delhi Daredevils finished stone last in the 2013 Indian Premier League and face Kings XI Punjab for their first match of the season.
Both teams did sound business during the auction, and Delhi will have a point to prove under captain Kevin Pietersen.
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Date: Thursday, 17 April
Start time: 2:30 p.m. BST/6:30 p.m. local time
Live on: Sony Six, Star Sports HD, Star Sports 1 (India), ITV4 (United Kingdom), SuperSport (South Africa), OSN (UAE) SkyTV ( New Zealand), Network Ten (Australia), Channel 9 (Bangladesh), Sportsnet and Omini (Canada), Sports Max (West Indies), Geo Super (Pakistan), Starhub (Singapore).
Weather: Temperatures in the UAE are brutal this time of year. Accuweather predicts evening temperatures of up to 31 degrees Celsius with a little bit of dew.
Another day, another new start for two rejigged franchises. It can't get worse than last season for Delhi who started 2013 by losing six games on the bounce. This time around they have Gary Kirsten as coach and Pietersen at the helm.
Unfortunately, it's a false start for KP, with the ex-England batsman ruled out by a finger injury, per the Guardian. Dinesh Karthik is expected to take his place.
When his campaign does begin, however, it represents as much a new dawn for Pietersen personally as it is for his team.
In the wake of being told his international career is as good as over, Pietersen can focus solely on the IPL without any of the stress that comes with the England job.
No doubt he'll have a point to prove, and nothing fires KP up quite like having something to prove. However, cricket is a team sport, and Delhi will have to find a way to make do with a fairly inexperienced bowling attack.
As such, for the moment it is about looking at the team as a whole.
Mohammed Shami and possibly Nathan Coulter-Nile have big roles to play, despite stats suggesting seam bowlers don't fare all that well in the T20 format. The spin options are limited and inexperienced, so the emphasis will be on careful leadership from the captaincy.
JP Duminy will be another key player; with his all-round ability and solid performances in the World T20, he's certainly an in-form player.
They are up against a Bangalore team led by the best T20 player in the world: Virat Kohli. That team also includes Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers and will make Delhi's ordinary bowlers shudder in their spikes.
Interestingly, the head-to-head stats between the two teams are at exactly 5-5, according to Cricinfo.
Bangalore have finished runners-up twice in the tournament and pack some serious experience punch. Their experience and talent should help them go far in the tournament, but anything can happen in the early stages.
Both sides played "practice" matches in the lead up to the first game. Delhi won their practice game, beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by chasing down 168 with relative ease. Bangalore set up a De Villiers XI to play a Kohli XI which made for some light-hearted entertainment.
All the preparation in the world cannot prepare players for match intensity, though. Bangalore should chalk up their first win, but don't be surprised if Delhi are a different calibre in this year's competition.
Yuvraj Singh had a terrible time in the recent World T20 and will be keen to rectify that by showing he's not old and cold. He was the most expensive player for the franchise and will want to put his batting where that money is.
JP Duminy will be perhaps the key overseas player while KP is absent. He flourished in the World Twenty20 last month despite being shunted up and down the order by South Africa. If Delhi can use him better, the results could be spectacular.
Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel (wk), Tanmay Mishra, Yogesh Takawale and Vijay Zol, Yuvraj Singh (c), Varun Aaron, Ashok Dinda, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Sachin Rana, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shadab Jakati, Sandeep Warrier, Harshal Patel, Nic Maddinson, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Albie Morkel, Mitchell Starc, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ravi Rampaul
Full preview of the Bangalore's squad, breakdown of their auction business and more here.
Mayank Agarwal, Dinesh Karthik, Milind Kumar, Kedhar Jadhav, Manoj Tiwary, Saurabh Tiwary, Murali Vijay, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Jayant Yadav, Siddharth Kaul, Shabhaz Nadeem, Mohammed Shami, Rahul Sharma, HS Sharaf, Rahul Shukla, Jaidev Unadkat, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock, Kevin Pietersen, Ross Taylor, Jimmy Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Wayne Parnell
Full preview of the Delhi Daredevils' squad, breakdown of their auction business and more here.
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