IPL 2018: Five rival pairs to look forward to in IPL 11
By B Dixit - Apr 4, 2018 12:54 pm
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Given the structure of the Indian Premier League, the team formation has it in it to put on table various permutation and combination. A typical IPL auction has it in it to put two international stars of the same team to play for a different IPL franchise.

Perhaps, this is the apogee of the IPL or for that matter, any other T20 league around the world. The sight of companions playing against each other in T20 leagues is what allures the audiences to the stadiums during these tournaments for no international tourney has this on offer for the spectators.

Here are the Top-Five pairs who will be seen playing against each other during this upcoming season of the IPL:

Sunil Narine and Gautam Gambhir

5. Gautam Gambhir & Sunil Narine – Sunil Narine made his IPL debut under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2012. The duo has played with each other for the past six years. Narine has been and still is a key bowler for the Knight Riders. He has saved ‘Gambhir – The Captain’ on numerous occasions over the years. Most recently in 2017, he had even opened the batting with Gambhir for KKR. However, this time around, both of them will lock horns against each other for Gambhir is all set to lead Delhi Daredevils.

AB de Villiers and Kagiso Rabada

4. AB de Villiers & Kagiso Rabada – AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Kagiso Rabada (Delhi Daredevils) will be playing for the same franchise in the IPL that they played for last year. To a great extent, it would not be wrong to say that both these names are the best that South Africa has at the moment in their respective field. If de Villiers is their best batsman across formats, Rabada is undoubtedly their go-to bowler irrespective of the conditions and the opposition. It would be interesting to see both of them have a go at each other during this season of the IPL.

Dhoni and Ashwin for Chennai Super Kings.
Dhoni and Ashwin will not be playing for the same team in this IPL.

3. MS Dhoni & Ravichandran Ashwin – Leave aside the Indian team, MS Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin have played together in the IPL for nine years. Having shared the dressing room at Chennai for eight years, the duo donned the Pune jersey in 2016. However, this will be the first time that Dhoni and Ashwin will be playing against each other in the IPL. This competition will not only be between a batsman and a bowler but also against two rival captains for Ashwin has been named the captain of Kings XI Punjab.

Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc

2. Steven Smith & Mitchell Starc – Talking about another international pair, Steven Smith (Rajasthan Royals) and Mitchell Starc (Kolkata Knight Riders) will be seen in getting the better off each other during this season of the IPL. Been regulars for Australia for some years now, the battle between the Australian captain and his fiercest bowler will be worth watching. The duo has not only shared the Australian dressing room, they have been together since their early days in cricket, playing for New South Wales.

Virat Kohli and Bhuvneshwar Kumar

1. Virat Kohli & Bhuvneshwar Kumar – On numerous occasions in the recent times, we have seen Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (SunRisers Hyderabad) discussing strategies in a bid to make India win the match. More often than not, those strategies have yielded results for India. That being said, the IPL watches this duo creating strategies to have a win over each other.