Kohli to open, Impact Player rule in focus with big names missing: Here's RCB's likely XI vs MI in IPL 2023
The Faf du Plessis-led side sneaked into the playoffs last season however Rajasthan Royals ended RCB’s quest for a maiden IPL title in 2022.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will kick off their IPL 2023 campaign against five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in the fifth match of the season in front of their loyal home crowd at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday. The Faf du Plessis-led side sneaked into the playoffs last season at the expense of the Delhi Capitals. While they dismantled Lucknow Super Giants, Rajasthan Royals ended RCB’s quest for a maiden IPL title in 2022. (RCB vs MI Live Score, IPL 2023)
But the new season comes with renewed hopes from the fans and players alike as RCB will be back playing in front of their loyal supporters. The Bengaluru-based franchise made a few shrewd signings in the IPL 2023 auction and looks like a well-balanced side on paper.
Du Plessis and former skipper Virat Kohli form a formidable opening pair, with the former being the side’s top run-getter last season with almost 500 runs to his name and the latter returning to form in 2023.
Rajat Patidar, Dinesh Karthik, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat and Michael Bracewell are all solid middle-order options. There is, however, a question mark on Patidar's availability.
Wanindu Hasaranga is the main overseas spin option and could have a major impact on RCB's season once again. He bagged 26 wickets in last season’s edition, narrowly missing out on the purple cap.
RCB have good seam bowling options with Josh Hazlewood, Harshal Patel, and Mohammad Siraj all capable of leading the line. David Willey and Reece Topley could also chip in with important contributions.
Hazlewood and Patel took a combined 39 wickets in the 2022 season, with Siraj chipping in with further 9 scalps.
Injuries are the biggest threat currently to RCB’s title chances.
Lead pacer Hazlewood is expected to miss at least the first half of the season while he recovers from an Achilles injury. Hazlewood hopes to play some part in the IPL season but his fitness will be monitored closely by Cricket Australia as they have a hectic upcoming schedule with the World Test Championship final and the Ashes series to follow straight after the IPL.
Last season’s breakout middle-order star, Rajat Patidar is also expected to miss at least the first half of the season as he recovers from a heel injury. Patidar is currently undergoing rehab at the NCA in Bengaluru. Maxwell is also a doubt for the season opener as he recovers from an injury he suffered last year.
England's Will Jacks was one of the major signings made by RCB at the IPL 2023 auction. The 24-year-old was expected to strengthen the middle order, however, he was ruled out of the tournament after he suffered an injury while playing for England.
Jack's unavailability prompted the franchise to sign a replacement, which came in the form of Kiwi all-rounder Michael Bracewell. The all-rounder is no stranger to playing in the subcontinent as he had a prolific time with the bat during New Zealand's tour of India earlier this year. Michael Bracewell could turn out to be one of the signings of the season if he gets adequate playing time.
Wanindu Hasaranga is unavailable for the first game as he is on national duty with Sri Lanka.
Siddarth Kaul could be brought on in the second innings as an impact player in place of Mahipal Lomror if RCB bat first. Anuj Rawat could be brought on in the second innings as an impact player in place of Mohammed Siraj if RCB bowl first.
RCB predicted XI vs MI
Openers: Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli.
Middle Order: Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Anuj Rawat.
All-Rounders: Michael Bracewell, Shahbaz Nadeem.
Bowlers: David Willey, Reece Topley, Harshal Patel, Mohammad Siraj.
Catch all the Latest Cricket News, Live Cricket Score and IPL 2024 Schedule, WPL Live match updates along with Cricket Schedule, WPL 2024 and other related updates on Hindustan Times Website and APPs