Adaptation is the buzzword as the Highveld Lions and the Perth Scorchers begin their Champions League T20 (CLT20) campaign in Motera on Monday.
Having seen some outstanding batting and bowling in the tournament already, this match between the South African side and the Australians is expected to be another closely fought battle.
Perth Scorchers will look for a winning start against the Highveld Lions in the CLT20
Lions batsman Neil McKenzie believes the team that will adapt quickest will have the upperhand and is happy not to be playing an IPL side in the first match.
"I have been to India a few times and it is hard to say (what to expect)," McKenzie said. "You think you are going to come and play on dust bowls, but look at last night's wicket (in Jaipur during the Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians match) and the wickets that matches have been played on (during the Qualifiers) and it looks like there has been some bounce and seam movement and swing. So I think that will help some of our fast bowlers.
"But it will be hard work for some of our batters, so depends on what sort of pitches we are going to come up against.
"The positive thing about playing against the Perth Scorchers first is that they are not a subcontinent side as well so they will also have to adjust to the conditions. So it lets us get used to the conditions. They have got a young side with a few old heads. They are still a quality side but their bowling is a bit unknown so we have got some homework to do on them."
Apart from McKenzie, the Lions have a few familiar faces in Quinton De Kock, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Alviro Peterson, Imran Tahir and Pakistan pacer Sohail Tanvir, who had such a great IPL for the Rajasthan Royals in the tournament's maiden edition.
The Perth Scorchers will bank on the experience of the likes of Brad Hogg, Simon Katich and Marcus North, while they also have the exciting young talent Ashton Agar in their squad.
The finalists of the Big Bash had a forgettable outing in South Africa in last year's CLT20, and North is hoping for a better performance this time around in India.
"The conditions here are different to what they were in South Africa," North said. "That's our first challenge. Our preparations have been good; we have had some great facilities here, which have given us great exposure to Indian conditions. The guys have had opportunities to use that. It comes down to us planning well and making sure that we execute our game plans."
Where to watch
The match is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start, with it set for a Live telecast on Star Sports, Star Cricket (Hindi) and Star Cricket HD. You can also catch the action online by clicking the official link HERE.
Squads: Highveld Lions: Temba Bavuma, Gulam Bodi, Quinton De Kock, Neil McKenzie, Lonwabo Tsotsobe; Ethan O'Reilly, Hardus Viljoen, Rassie Van Der Dussen, Alviro Petersen, Aaron Phangiso, Dwaine Pretorius, Jean Symes, Imran Tahir, Sohail Tanvir, Thami Tsolekile.
Perth Scorchers: Ashton Agar, Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Ashton Turner, Liam Davis, Brad Hogg, Burt Cockley, Simon Katich, Joel Paris, Alfonso Thomas, Tom Triffitt, Adam Voges, Sam Whiteman, Marcus North.
Prediction: Highveld Lions start on a winning note
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