Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have had a couple of great IPLs in the past few seasons and would love to continue the good under the able leadership of former South Africa skipper Faf Du Plessis and the coaching of Mike Hesson – Sanjay Bangar combo. They have consistently reached the playoffs in the last 3 seasons but seem to fail at the knockout stages, and they would like to change that trend in the fresh new season of Tata IPL.
RCB had a seemingly balanced squad from the last edition of IPL, which meant they didn’t have to do many changes to their side. As expected, the franchise from Bengaluru didn’t do much in the IPL mini-auctions held last December. Two notable purchase they made was that of England international Will Jacks, who they bought for a large sum of 3.2 crores at the auctions, and that of fast bowler Reece Topley as a backup to the international pacers David Willey and Josh Hazlewood. Overall, RCB looks like a solid side and is expected to go the distance in the forthcoming IPL.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad (IPL 2023): Faf Du Plessis (Captain), Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad Siraj, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik, Shahbaz Ahmed, Rajat Patidar, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Josh Hazlewood, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Suyash Prabhudessai, Karn Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, David Willey, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Will Jacks, Manoj Bhandage, Rajan Kumar, Avinash Singh, Sonu Yadav
The RCB team will be looking at this season as yet another opportunity to clinch the elusive IPL title that has always been away from their grasp since the tournament inception in 2008. Or will it be? Royal Challengers will begin their campaign in their home against the 5-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians on the 2nd of April in an evening game.
With that being said, it is time to analyse the probable starting playing XI for the Challengers in IPL 2023 when they take on Mumbai. They could, in all likelihood, play the same players featured in the IPL 2022 Qualifier 2 defeat against the Rajasthan Royals.
Predicted Starting XI for RCB in IPL 2023
Openers: Faf Du Plessis, Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli did have a lacklustre IPL 2022 season as per his high standards, where he averaged a paltry 22.73 in 16 matches, but his performances in the T20Is for India were exceptional. He was the leading run-getter for team India in both Asia Cup & T20 World Cup, and more importantly, he has enjoyed playing the white-ball format. After all, Virat is the leading run-getter of IPL with 6624 runs and could pile up even more this season.
Faf Du Plessis, the skipper of RCB, has been a consistent player in the IPL for close to a decade now, and he is expected to be the opener for the side. With over 3400 IPL runs under his belt, the experienced Faf and Virat can be an ominous duo for the opposition if they click together.
Middle-order: Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik
Rajat Patidar, the uncapped Indian player, was a revelation for RCB the last season. After not getting picked at the 2022 Auctions, Patidar came in as a replacement player for RCB, and the rest is history as they. He piled up 333 runs in 8 games at a strike rate of over 152, including a sensation 112* against Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator. He should be RCB’s no.3 this season, followed by the dangerous Glenn Maxwell, who has scored over 800 runs since coming to RCB in 2021.
Mahipal Lomror is a talented stroke maker coming lower down the order and should play a bigger role than he did last year. Dinesh Karthik, the veteran, is an automatic choice for RCB as the wicket-keeper following his great exploits in the last edition, where he made a stunning 330 runs at a strike rate of close to 180 with an average of 55.
All-rounders: Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga is one of the sought spinners in the T20 format, and he will straightaway walk into the playing XI of RCB unless he isn’t fit. He has been a tremendous bowler for Sri Lanka and started his IPL career with the Challengers in a stunning fashion. The leg-spinner took a whopping 26 wickets in 16 games with a 5-wicket haul last season and is expected to play a huge role for the team this IPL as well.
Shahbaz Ahmed has shown his all-round capabilities for the RCB side over the last 3 seasons. He has taken 13 wickets and 279 runs in 29 games for the side.
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Bowlers: Harshal Patel, Josh Hazlewood, Mohammad Siraj
Harshal Patel has been a breakout star for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The medium pacer has taken an incredible 51 wickets in the last 2 seasons alone from 30 games and should be an important member of RCB’s bowling attack. His variations and change of pace are a great asset, and it has, time & again, bamboozled many batters. Mohammad Siraj, the no.1 ODI bowler, is a much-improved white ball bowler and will be the leader of this pace attack.
Last but not least is the Aussie pacer, Josh Hazlewood. The tall fast bowler was instrumental in RCB’s good run with the ball taking 20 wickets from 12 games last season, and despite his recent injury worries, Hazlewood will be a certainty in the playing XI.
Bangalore Probable Playing XI: Faf Du Plessis (Capt), Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Josh Hazlewood, Mohammad Siraj