The countdown has begun for the world’s most exciting and thrilling T20 tournament – Indian Premier League. With the 12th edition of the cash-rich league slated to begin on March 23 in Chennai, cricket fans around the globe can’t wait to see their favourite stars in action in the shortest version of the sport. In the season opener, defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore at the iconic M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Also Read - Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli, Sardar Singh to Abhinav Bindra: India's Sporting Community Pays Tribute to 'Rare Role Model' Balbir Singh Sr.

According to the schedule announced by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and BCCI, as many as 17 matches will be played from March 23 to April 5, with three double-header days on March 24, 30 and 31. Ahead of the T20 extravaganza, some latest pictures have come out of MS Dhoni and Kohli, who can be seen shooting a promotional advertisement for IPL. Also Read - Dean Elgar Willing To Succeed Faf Du Plessis As South Africa’s Test Captain, Says Leadership Comes Naturally to Me



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The IPL schedule was only limited to the first two weeks of the tournament since the dates for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections have not been announced. As the details of the Lok Sabha elections still awaited, BCCI stated that once the polling dates are decided it would “address any issues with the first two weeks and will also prepare a schedule for the remainder of the season working with the local authorities around the polling dates.”



India are currently involved in a limited-overs series against Australia, where they are scheduled to play 2 T20Is and 5 ODIs. The men in blue lost the first match by 3 wickets in Vizag.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, K.L. Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, M.S. Dhoni (wk), Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, Mayank Markande.

Australia: Aaron Finch (C), D’Arcy Short, Pat Cummins, Alex Carey (wk), Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa.

Match starts at 7 PM ST.