This season’s IPL has begun with a bang, just after the first two matches between KKR-MI and CSK-DD respectively turned out to have interesting results. The third match is going to be played between the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab in Pune. Rajasthan Royals would look to adapt quickly to the local conditions when they lock horns with last season’s runner-up Kings XI Punjab in their campaign opener in the Indian Premier League today. This season will be a big challenge for Royals to adapt to unknown pitch conditions as their actual home ground of Jaipur, no longer figures on the playing roster owing to the dispute in the Rajasthan Cricket Association. With Captain Watson and Stuart Binny playing all-round roles, Morris’ inclusion gives Royals a lot of options. RR has also brought in two leg-spinners in Dinesh Salunkhe and Pardeep Sahu, and could play decisive roles for the team in this format. Smith, meanwhile, comes in to the IPL on the back of an awe-inspiring performance in the year gone by. He has scored 2096 runs in 31 international matches across all formats at a brilliant average of 69.86, which includes eight hundreds. Kings XI Punjab captain George Bailey, who did not get to spend much time in the middle last season will depend heavily on the natural talent of the ‘Big Show’ – Glenn Maxwell – to come to the party as he did for his team in the previous edition of IPL. In the company of South African dasher David Miller and the Indian trio of Virender Sehwag, Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha, Maxwell could well be the key to the team’s fortunes this season as well. That intimidating batting line-up has been further fortified by the addition of Murali Vijay. The bowling department also looks solid with Australian tear away Mitchell Johnson leading the pacers’ pack. AnimationXpress further brings forth the clash of two super humans from KXIP and RR namely George Bailey and Shane Watson, but with an animated twist. The cartoon-hero, Captain Planet is the perfect concoction of strength, righteousness and superhero-might. Getting the same fair play to the game of cricket, Bailey is Punjab’s ideal captain others should watch out for this tourney. The grit iron faith that Bailey has in his troops pushes his teammates to push the envelope when they have their backs against the walls and this is the perfect catalyst for his ‘Planeteers’ to come good for him. The blue-eyed legendary Superman is the perfect superhero to charm his way with his extravagant powers while at the same time punch his way through the strongest baddie he confronts. Sharing a similar charm is the Australian burly all-rounder, Shane Watson whose not only eye colour matches the red-caped Superman, but also possesses the brutal strength he brings to the game. Keep watching this space to see which other lucky cricketers get to feature as an animated version of themselves in the coming days… Kings XI Punjab: George Bailey (Captain), Axar Patel, Anureet Singh, Beuran Hendricks, David Miller, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Karanveer Singh, Manan Vora, Mitchell Johnson, Parvinder Awana, Rishi Dhawan, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Shaun Marsh, Shivam Sharma, Thisara Perera, Virender Sehwag, Wriddhiman Saha, Murali Vijay, Nikhil Naik, Yogesh Golwalkar Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (Captain), Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik, Chris Morris, Juan Theron, Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu.