And come this year, both Warner and Smith would be hoping to make an impact for their respective IPL sides.
'In 18 balls we needed 53 runs and we won the match with two balls to spare.
Having opted to bowl, the otherwise disciplined KKR attack looked clueless against the rampaging Warner who was let off twice while on scores of 21 and 68 by Robin Uthappa and skipper Dinesh Karthik respectively. The left-hander had no played global cricket as he is serving a one-year ban, which is due to end next week.
Warner responded with a century stand of his own, compiling 118 runs alongside Englishman Jonny Bairstow at Eden Gardens.
Such was the Warner assault that four of the regular KKR bowlers including the frontline spin duo of Sunil Narine (0/29) and Kuldeep (0/18) did not even bowl their full quota of four overs. He was banned for a year from all the worldwide games due to the ball-tampering scandal in Australia's away test against South Africa. The BCCI had then imposed its own sanctions and barred Warner along with Steve Smith from playing in the league past year.More news: Luke Walton On The Verge Of Landing New Coaching Job
Afghanistan's other cricket sensation, Mujeeb Zadran, has joined Kings XI Punjab and has already started training sessions for the opening match.
The cheap dismissal of Chris Lynn in the second over left the Knight Riders further up against it - and they were still well short of where the Sunrisers were at the same stage when Uthappa (35) was bowled by a brilliant Siddarth Kaul yorker in the 12th over. Hence he will have a job in his hands in the match against SRH. It's six wicket win for the hosts in the end.
While the opening game remained a one-sided affair, we have a significant competitive game to look forward to later today.
KKR tried to check the run flow in the last four overs but Shankar played some delightful strokes to put Sunrisers in a commanding position.
Kane Williamson, who led them to runners-up finish in the Aussie's absence last season, will continue to captain Sunrisers, a team that is known for its depth and variation in bowling. In the all-rounders department, Shakib-al-Hasan, Mohammad Nabi and Vijay Shankar will add variety.