Cut Or Keep: What Should Royal Challengers Bangalore Do With Their Squad For The Next Season?


Royal Challengers Bangalore‘s wait for the elusive IPL trophy will continue for another year as they have crashed out of IPL 2023 after a loss in their last game against Gujarat. What should they do with their current squad for the next season? Let’s take a look.

After three back-to-back playoff qualifications between 2020-2022, RCB have finally finished outside the top four this year. They had looked like a settled unit ahead of the season, set to start with the same core from 2022. However, injuries to Rajat Patidar and Josh Hazlewood meant that they had to change their balance.

It ultimately proved to be costly. Apart from Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, and Mohammed Siraj, the rest of the squad could not step up. RCB were unable to use their home advantage either, losing four out of the seven games at Chinnaswamy. “We missed a few runs from the middle order consistently throughout the season, especially in the back end of the innings, and also in the middle overs … perhaps didn’t get as many wickets as we would have liked,” lamented du Plessis after the season.


Going forward, RCB have to make sure that they reduce their dependence on the top three and Siraj and focus on building more of an all-round squad that can win most games at their home venue at least.


Table of Contents

Faf du Plessis had his personal best season as a batter and was decent as a captain on the field. His evolution as a T20 batter at this stage of his career is something no one saw coming. There is no reason why RCB should part ways with him.

Virat Kohli is the face of RCB and had one of his best IPL seasons to go with it.

Glenn Maxwell scored 400 this year at a strike rate of over 180. He now has had three consecutive seasons where he has topped 300, and is the only performing batter in the middle order.

Mohammed Siraj made a solid comeback this year after having a horrible 2022. He led with the new ball, picking 10 wickets inside the powerplay and 19 overall.

Harshal Patel, winner of the Purple Cap in 2021, did not have a great season, but still finished as RCB’s second-highest wicket-taker, with 14 wickets. His bowling style may not be ideal for Chinnaswamy, but he is versatile enough to adapt. If used judiciously based on conditions and opposition, he can still be an asset for RCB.

Michael Bracewell, signed as a replacement for Will Jacks, did decently with both bat and ball. While not a sure starter in the first XI, he can play various roles and can be used as a backup middle-order batter, backup finisher, or backup spinner.

Karn Sharma got a decent run this season after missing out in the last couple of years. He picked regular wickets, albeit at a high economy rate. RCB can afford to keep him around as a backup Indian spinner.

Anuj Rawat struggled as he got shuffled around the batting order. However, towards the end, he showed glimpses of what he can bring to the table as a finisher. With Dinesh Karthik failing, RCB should look to develop Rawat in that role.

Suyash Prabhudessai got just four chances to bat and did not leave an impact, but he has good T20 credentials and needs to be given more chances. Who knows, he might solve the middle-order problem for RCB.

Himanshu Sharma is an unknown leg spinner recruited with the help of RCB’s “Hinterland Scouting” program. He did not have much impact in his only game, RCB’s last of the season, but is someone they can invest in for the future.

Manoj Bhandage is a seam-bowling all-rounder from Karnataka with a T20 batting strike rate of 155. He didn’t get to play this season but should be in the plans for RCB going forward. Plus he is a left-handed batter, so that gives him an added advantage.

Vyshak Vijay Kumar was picked as a replacement for Patidar and he impressed with his skills. He went for 10.5 an over, but can be nurtured going forward.

Reece Topley got injured in his first game this season and could take no further part. However, if he is fit and available for the next season, there’s no reason why RCB shouldn’t keep him. A tall left-arm seamer who swings it and can bowl at the death as well is a rare commodity.

Shahbaz Ahmed had a forgettable year with both bat and ball, but he should not be discarded for one bad season. A left-arm spinner who can bat left-handed and be floated around anywhere in the batting line-up is an important asset to have, and has shown that he can succeed at this level in the earlier seasons.

Avinash Singh is another product of RCB’s “Hinterland Scouting”. He didn’t get a game this year but you’d expect RCB to stick with him given that they picked him for his skills which he hasn’t got the opportunity to display on the big stage yet.

Rajan Kumar is a left-arm fast bowler from Uttarakhand. He hasn’t made his debut yet, but RCB can keep him as a backup left-arm seamer for the international quicks.

Sonu Yadav is another seam-bowling all-rounder who can hit big who is yet to debut. RCB can stick with him as a backup finisher and sixth bowler.

Either Way

Josh Hazlewood has turned into a good T20 bowler in the last couple of years. However, he is injury prone, and national commitment may make him unavailable. It only makes sense for RCB to retain him if they are sure of his availability.

Wayne Parnell was good with the new ball who replaced Topley in the squad. However, he is not very effective outside the powerplay, and if RCB manage to get a hold of first-choice left-arm seamers like Topley and David Willey, they can afford to let Parnell go. If not, then keeping him won’t be a bad idea.

David Willey impressed in his four games this season. Like Parnell, however, he was used mostly inside the powerplay. RCB can take a call on him based on the availability of Hazlewood and Topley.

Wanindu Hasaranga had a disappointing season by his standards, picking just nine wickets in eight games at 8.9 runs per over, and did not do well with the bat either. RCB will have to decide whether they want to continue with him or back an Indian frontline spinner and an overseas middle-order batter.

Mahipal Lomror is a youngster whom RCB have backed regularly. Despite having some impactful performances, his IPL career batting average still hovers below 20. There’s always the feeling with that one big season is around the corner, but it is yet to come. RCB have to decide whether to be more patient with him or let him go and look for other middle-order options.


Dinesh Karthik failed to reach even 150 in IPL 2023. He has an extremely poor record at Chinnaswamy, having just one 30+ score there in 16 years, and he is not the youngest player going around. It would make sense for RCB to move on and plan ahead for the future.

Kedar Jadhav came in as Willey’s replacement. He is well past his prime and does not have a good enough T20 record to get into the squad ahead of other younger, and more deserving players.

Siddharth Kaul didn’t play a single game this year with RCB preferring Vyshak, who was not even in the main squad. Like Jadhav, Kaul is past his prime as well, and will be better used in some other setup that requires experienced Indian fast bowlers.

Finn Allen is one the most fearsome T20 openers going around. However, he has not made his debut for RCB despite being with them for two years now. RCB can get an Indian backup opener for Kohli and du Plessis and should release Allen.

Akash Deep played just two games this year and has an overall IPL career economy rate of 11.08. He can be better used by some other team whose home conditions favour quick bowlers.

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