IPL 2023: A detailed analysis of Royal Challengers Bangalore
25 March 2023
A look into the team’s strengths, weaknesses, new signings, opportunities, squad, and probable XI
With the 2023 season, the Indian Premier League has returned back to the home-and-away format. The last three seasons were played in a limited number of venues because of the threat looming over the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided to host the 16th edition like before, with each team playing seven matches at their home playground. While a total of ten teams will be taking the field to get hold of the T20 cup, the Royal Challengers Bangalore are likely to be the ones in the most spotlight.
The team majorly remains in the headlines throughout the tournament because of the presence of the modern-day legend Virat Kohli in the squad. Meanwhile, the mystery surrounding the team’s poor performance in the competition also keeps the fans hooked. Despite having several superstar players in the squad since 2008, Bangalore are yet to win the final and lifted the coveted trophy.
RCB will be hoping to achieve their dream this season as they will be playing under the skipper Faf du Plessis for the second time in the T20 Championship. The team has been included in Group B in the competition which already has teams like Punjab Kings, Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Titans, and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Bangalore will battle it out against Mumbai Indians on April 02, Sunday in their first match of the Indian Premier League while their campaign in the league round will conclude with a one-on-one against Gujarat Titans on May 21.
Before the beginning of IPL 2022, Virat Kohli stepped down as the team’s captain after a stint of nine years. Faf du Plessis was handed over the leadership duties and he did a decent job. The franchise reached the playoffs by finishing fourth in the standings at the end of the group stage. They played a total of 14 league games, winning eight and losing six games.
They did well in their first playoff game against Lucknow Super Giants. They scored 207 runs in the Eliminator game to score win by 14 runs. However, the team was again bitten by the Qualifier curse. Rajasthan Royals defeated them in the second qualifier match by seven wickets. The Royals chased the score of 158 runs in 18.1 overs.
RCB will be eager to make amends this season and finally win the final. Though the team has been reaching the playoffs for the last three seasons, their last final outing came in 2016 when they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
A look into RCB’s run at the IPL 2023 mini-auction
Despite not winning the cup last year, the team management has shown faith in its players. They have backed the core group and hardly released any significant players before the IPL 2023 mini-auction. Royal Challengers Bangalore had only INR 8.75 crores to spend in the event and a total of seven slots to fill.
The franchise went all out for Manish Pandey but they eventually lost the battle to Delhi Capitals. RCB spent a handsome amount of INR 3.2 crores to acquire the services of the English star Will Jacks. However, he has been ruled out of the competition due to an injury and will be replaced by Michael Bracewell in the squad.
Other players included in the RCB squad during the IPL 2023 mini-auction are Reece Topley, Avinash Singh, Rajan Kumar, Sonu Yadav, and Manoj Bhandage.
Strengths of RCB
After a gap of three years, Royal Challengers Bangalore will finally be playing at their home ground at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. The stadium offers a pitch that is known as a belter for the batters. The willow wielders especially the power-hitters find it easy to smash the ball and the small boundaries further help their cause. RCB have a handful of good hitters in their team like Faf du Plessis, Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, and Glenn Maxwell who will be licking their lips to play seven home games at the venue.
The team has good batting depth in their squad for IPL 2023. Over the last few years, they have paid special attention to bringing in more all-rounders to the team. The players including the likes of Harshal Patel, Shahbaz Ahmed, and Wanindu Hasaranga know how to score runs for the team in the lower batting order.
Lastly, the gold form of Virat Kohli is likely to benefit the team. Kohli was not up to the mark in the last few seasons but he has finally regained his rhythm. The former Indian skipper is coming into the 16th edition after breaking his century drought in all three formats of the game. He showed a lot of promise while playing the shortest format of the game for India last year. Virat ended up as the second-highest run-getter in Asia Cup 2022 and the top run-scorer in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.
Though RCB have named a good squad for the upcoming season, there are certain areas of concern. The team does not have a solid number three batter. With Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis opening the innings, there are chances of Rajat Patidar playing at the number three. He is not a very reliable batter and is yet to prove his mettle. The presence of an inexperienced player can put extra pressure on the middle order.
Also, there are concerns regarding the team’s seam attack. Mohammed Siraj had a torrid run last year and Harshal Patel was no better. RCB relies heavily on the two pacers and their underperformance can put the whole team in trouble.
Rajat Patidar is being considered as a weak link in Royal Challengers Bangalore. Thus, he has the golden opportunity to prove everyone wrong and make a bold statement in the cricket world. The franchise does not have a lot of good Indian batters in the team and thus the chances of Rajat playing all the games for the team are high.
RCB’s final squad for IPL 2023
Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood, Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Suyash Prabhudessai, Finn Allen, Glenn Maxwell, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mahipal Lomror, Siddarth Kaul, Akash Deep, Wanindu Hasaranga, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Rajat Patidar, Dinesh Karthik, Anuj Rawat, Michael Bracewell, Manoj Bhandage, Rajan Kumar, Avinash Singh, Sonu Yadav, Harshal Patel, David Willey, Karn Sharma
Probable Playing XI of the team
Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Faf Du Plessis ©, Glenn Maxwell, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood, Shahbaz Ahmed