Cricket News: Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2023 Preview: 1st title for RCB? | RCB IPL 2023 SWOT Analysis
Royal Challengers Bangalore has become a much more consistent force in recent years, reaching the playoffs in every season since the start of 2020. However, will this be the year they go to the next level and break their title duck?
They are well placed to give this tournament a shake. They have a balanced squad, with matchwinners sprinkled throughout. Also, they return to their home ground in Bengaluru, where they are sure to be greeted by arguably the most passionate fanbase in the league.
In this article, we will look at their possible XI, as well as analyse their key strengths and weaknesses.
RCB IPL 2023 Squad
*Excluding the injured Will Jacks.
|Virat Kohli||Batsman||INR 15 CR(R)|
|Suyash Prabhudessai||Batsman||INR 30 Lakhs(R)|
|Faf du Plessis||Batsman||INR 7 crores(R)|
|Rajat Patidar||Batsman||INR 20 Lakhs(R)|
|Anuj Rawat (wk)||WK-Batsman||INR 3.40 crores(R)|
|Finn Allen (wk)||WK-Batsman||INR 80 Lakhs(R)|
|Dinesh Karthik (wk)||WK-Batsman||INR 5.50 crores(R)|
|Mohammed Siraj||Bowler||INR 7 CR(R)|
|Karn Sharma||Bowler||INR 50 Lakhs(R)|
|Siddarth Kaul||Bowler||INR 75 Lakhs(R)|
|Josh Hazlewood||Bowler||INR 7.75 crores(R)|
|Harshal Patel||Bowler||INR 10.75 crores(R)|
|Akash Deep||Bowler||INR 20 Lakhs(R)|
|Glenn Maxwell||All-rounder||INR 11 CR(R)|
|David Willey||All-rounder||INR 2 crores(R)|
|Mahipal Lomror||All-rounder||INR 95 Lakhs(R)|
|Shahbaz Ahmed||All-rounder||INR 2.40 crores(R)|
|Wanindu Hasaranga||All-rounder||INR 10.75 crores(R)|
|Reece Topley||Bowler||INR 1.90 crores|
|Himanshu Sharma||Bowler||INR 20 Lakhs|
|Manoj Bhandage||Allrounder||INR 20 Lakhs|
|Rajan Kumar||Bowler||INR 70 Lakhs|
|Avinash Singh||Bowler||INR 60 Lakhs|
|R Sonu Yadav||Allrounder||INR 20 Lakhs|
RCB Possible Playing XI for first match
1. Faf du Plessis (c & OS), 2. Virat Kohli, 3. Rajat Patidar, 4. Glenn Maxwell (OS), 5. Mahipal Lomror, 6. Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7. Wanindu Hasaranga (OS), 8. Shahbaz Ahmed, 9. Harshal Patel, 10. Josh Hazlewood/Reece Topley (OS), 11. Mohammed Siraj
RCB IPL 2023 Preview: Strengths & Weaknesses
Here are some of the key strengths and weaknesses for RCB ahead of IPL 2023, also touching on their opportunities and threats.
Continuity. Not too many squad changes from a strong 2022 season
RCB entered the IPL 2023 auction in what felt an unusual position. They didn’t have too many gaps to plug in their first XI, and with 18 retentions, they could focus on building squad depth. The franchise did that quite nicely, with the likes of Reece Topley and Will Jacks (potentially to be replaced by Michael Bracewell) capable of offering value throughout the season.
Excellent mix of youth and experience in their top six
Rajat Patidar had a breakthrough season in IPL 2022. Mahipal Lomror has the potential to do the same in IPL 2023. These two up-and-coming talents will mix with excellent experience once again, with Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik making up a pretty strong core.
Bowling attack to cover all phases of the innings
The bowling has been RCB’s achilles heel over the years, especially at the Chinnaswamy. However, key to their consistency over the past few years has been a more balanced bowling attack, with this group possessing the skill to perform across key phases of an innings.
Mohammed Siraj, who had a tough 2022, has the quality to bounce back in 2023 and be the team’s leader in the powerplay. Wanindu Hasaranga is a middle overs’ machine, while Harshal Patel is the go-to man at the death. Also, if RCB have Josh Hazlewood available, it only boosts them up further.
Question marks around number five spot
The number five position is vital in T20s. Either a rebuild is required, or you need to go all guns blazing from ball one.
Mahipal Lomror often occupied that position in IPL 2022. The 23-year old has batted eight times at number five in the IPL, scoring 172 runs at a strike rate of 121.13. Ideally, RCB will want a better strike rate in that position, which is an area of focus for both Lomror and the franchise in 2023. If that happens, the pressure reduces on Dinesh Karthik, who will have to play extremely well to match his terrific 2022 season.
Slow starts in the powerplay is a possibility
Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli are outstanding players. However, they both can take their time to get started, which may result in slower starts. In fact, du Plessis himself struck at just 104.7 in the powerplay in IPL 2022, while Kohli was only marginally better at 116.8.
To reduce the pressure on the likes of Patidar, Maxwell and Karthik, at least one of du Plessis or Kohli should look to be as proactive as possible from the outset. This is especially important at the Chinnaswamy, the home of many high-scoring matches over the years.
Glenn Maxwell only just returning from injury
This is a threat to RCB, rather than a weakness. Glenn Maxwell, who has been outstanding for the franchise since he joined two seasons ago, is only just coming off a serious broken leg injury. How quickly he gets going is vital for RCB, given he provides middle order impetus and important overs with the ball.
RCB look good for another playoffs’ berth. They have a settled squad and quality first XI, with some capable backup options as well.