Three former international captains Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena and Daniel Vettori will be leading Indian Premier League (IPL) teams this season, bringing a new perspective and fresh ideas to the fourth edition.
IPL's costliest catch, Gautam Gambhir, will be in charge of the revamped Kolkata Knight Riders while Sangakkara, who stepped down as the Sri Lanka captain after the World Cup final loss to India, will be leading Deccan Chargers.
Sangakkara's team-mate Jayawardene, who also stepped down as the vice captain after the World Cup, will captain new entrants Kochi Tuskers. For Jayawardene, the challenge will be to handle the temperamantal fast bowler and local boy S. Sreesanth, but the presence of legendary spinner and team-mate Muttiah Muralitharan would take the pressure off Jayawardene.
All eyes will be on India's World Cup star Yuvraj Singh, who will captain another new entrant, Sahara Pune Warriors. Yuvraj was Player of the Tournament in the World Cup and now Pune Warriors will hope that the left-handed batsman from Chandigarh will continue to lend his midas touch in the their debut season.
As the IPL is all set for a fresh start, the mix of the new and old captains will give the Twenty20 league a fresh look.
Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will be banking on World Cup-winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni while Mumbai Indians will look forward to the genius of Sachin Tendulkar. Rajasthan Royals will have the old warhorse Shane Warne, who led them to a fairytale triumph in the inaugural season, at the helm.
Virender Sehwag is back as captain of Delhi Daredevils and Adam Gilchrist, under whom Deccan Chargers won the second edition in South Africa, will lead Kings XI Punjab.
The captains know that expectations will be high from their teams.
"The expectations (to perform well for Deccan Chargers team) are pretty high. Coming in and starting to play cricket again after the World Cup is also a great feeling and hopefully as a franchise and as a team we can to do really well this year. You have to get on with the job and start playing and winning games," Sangakkara said.
Daniel Vettori, who crafted New Zealand's fairytale turnaround to break an 11-match losing steak ahead of the World Cup, also knows that the spotlight is on him. The 32-year-old left arm spinner, who stepped down after New Zealand's loss to Sri Lanka in the World Cup semis, takes over the reins of Royal Challengers Bangalore from Anil Kumble.
"Captaining Royal Challengers is quite different from captaining New Zealand. In the New Zealand team, the players are grown up whereas here there are a lot of young players, with chances of different dynamics. It is an exciting opportunity for a short time. We have a good unit with us and we are looking forward to a strong campaign," he said.