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IPL 2023: RCB Squad Analysis: Can they make it to the play-offs for the fourth straight time?

IPL 2023: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Squad Analysis: Can they make it to the play-offs for the fourth straight time? Rajat Patidar's absence may cause concerns at the top for RCB.

IPL 2023: Royal Challengers Bangalore | Walking Wicket (Images: ©RCBTweets/Twitter)
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Images: ©RCBTweets/Twitter)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 is set to begin on March 31 with defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) taking on four-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Ahmedabad. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will play their opening fixture against Mumbai Indians (MI) on April 2 at their home ground M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Will RCB make it to the play-offs for the fourth straight time? Let’s take a look at where RCB stand as of now.

Past seasons

RCB made it to the top four last season, and even defeated Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Eliminator, thanks to Rajat Patidar’s ton, but lost to eventual runners-up Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2. For the last three seasons, RCB have made it to the play-offs, but they have been lucky to do so even as they didn’t finish the league stage strongly. For example, RCB lost their last four league games in 2020 season, and still made it to the play-offs. Hence, RCB must look to end league stage strongly to finish in the top two and get two shots to enter the final. For the record, RCB have lost all their three IPL finals, with Virat Kohli featuring in all of them.

IPL 2023 mini-auction major buys

RCB bought left-arm England pacer Reece Topley for INR 1.9 crore as a back up to Aussie Josh Hazlewood. And it seemed to be a good decision as first-choice Hazlewood is still recovering from Achilles tendinitis. RCB will hope Topley to deliver with no other overseas back-up available.

Another important buy was England player Will Jacks as replacement for Glenn Maxwell who was a doubtful starter for IPL 2023 due to an injury. But Maxwell has recovered and returned to competitive cricket, while Jacks is injured now and will miss the tournament. Michael Bracewell of New Zealand has been named his replacement.

IPL 2022, Eliminator, RCB vs LSG, Top Performances_ Rajat Patidar's century (112 runs) helps RCB beat LSG in eliminator. RCB to play RR in qualifier 2 _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
Patidar's century (112 runs) helped RCB beat LSG in eliminator. (Images ©IPL/Twitter)

RCB Injury Updates

Hero of the Eliminator IPL 2022 for RCB, Rajat Patidar is set to miss the first half of IPL due to a heel injury. His participation in the second half will be decided on how soon he recovers. It’s a big blow for RCB. Hazlewood is another player RCB is set to miss as the Aussie pacer is injured currently. A lot will rest on Topley to deliver in absence of Hazlewood. Another foreign recruit Will Jacks will miss the tournament due to an injury.

RCB Strength

RCB boast of a strong batting line-up with Kohli returning to form across formats at the international stage recently. Glenn Maxwell too is back to full fitness, and will be the key again. Captain Faf du Plessis will have to lead from the front, while Dinesh Karthik will have to repeat his finishing heroics of last season. Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat and Mahipal Lomror showed batting brilliance last season, but they are yet to play an impact innings to give more solidity to the batting order.

RCB Weaknesses

Bowling looks a bit thin as apart from Mohammed Siraj and Wanindu Hasaranga, there are no real wicket-takers. Harshal Patel and Shahbaz are more suited to supporting roles, and with Hazlewood missing, RCB’s bowling task looks cut out. Debutant Topley will have big shoes to fill up.

How does the team look overall

Overall, the team combination is similar to the last season, except with Kohli in red-hot form. This is one trophy that is missing in Kohli’s cabinet, and he might just look to grab it this season. If the bowling could support the strong batting order, RCB should make it to the play-offs and beyond.

RCB Probable XI

Faf du Plessis (captain), Anuj Rawat, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Mahipal Lomror, Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Reece Topley

RCB squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad Siraj, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Rajat Patidar, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Josh Hazlewood, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Suyash Prabhudesai, Karn Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, David Willey, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Manoj Bhandage, Rajan Kumar, Avinash Singh, Sonu Yadav, Michael Bracewell


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