Gautam Gambhir, who was handpicked for Delhi Daredevils' captaincy in IPL 2010 by Virender Sehwag, will face-off against his senior in the IPL 2012 play-off on Tuesday.
Sehwag-led Daredevils has moved from last position in IPL 2011 to first place this year. On the other hand, Kolkata Knight Riders, which had qualified for the Eliminator last year under Gambhir, finished second in the league in 2012.
Last year, KKR picked up the left-handed opener at the auction for $ 2.4million and handed him a leadership role. This time, hopes are higher as both sides are racing to make the final for the first time in five years.
Both are aggressive individuals and assertive leaders, confident at the crease. Sehwag's positive body language has an intimidating effect on bowlers and he carves up attacks in his own inimitable manner. He has struck up an effective partnership with David Warner and Mahela Jaywardene and is Daredevils' highest scorer in the league.
Gambhir relishes front-foot play and responsibility has sharpened his shot-selection. Stepping out against slow bowlers and driving on the up against quicks makes him dangerous.
The KKR opener is fourth in the Orange Cap list for most runs (556 in 15 matches, strike rate 142.19) while Sehwag is fifth (484 in 14 matches with a strike rate of 164.62, the best in this year's IPL).
Gambhir comes across as an intense character, constantly chatting up bowlers and being animated while fielding.
Sehwag's experience makes him appear more composed in getting the best out of colleagues.
Respect from teammates
Senior players like Brett Lee, Jacques Kallis, Brendon McCullum, Laxmipathy Balaji and coaching staff respect Gambhir's bold approach. Debabrata Das, a new face, and the struggling Yusuf Pathan know they have the captain's faith.
The Daredevils skipper credits his side's form in IPL 2012 to team work, where local player Shahbaz Nadeem, foreign stars Morne Morkel (Purple Cap leader with 25 wickets) and Sri Lankan captain Jayawardene have been at home under Sehwag.
When walking out to bat for Daredevils, Gambhir and Sehwag were a formidable pair.
Now crossing paths at the playoffs, Gambhir, 31, and Sehwag, 34, continue to evolve as T20 players and in the fifth season, after an exhausting 16 ties across India, their energy and dynamism is infectious.
Keywords: IPL 5