Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) reached the playoffs under Faf du Plessis in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season. Fans will now hope the franchise can go the distance and land a maiden crown. Ahead of the IPL 2023 season, RCB saw Will Jacks get ruled out, and they replaced him with Doug Bracewell of New Zealand, who adds sheer quality as an all-rounder. Apart from that, RCB look settled as a side with the shape and familiarity of last season. One can easily pick the best possible playing XI, which has the familiarities of 2022.
RCB must take their chances and show more consistency on an all-round basis across departments in the IPL 2023 season. RCB have a long list of uncapped players on the bench. RCB’s foreign set of players look solid, and the settled Indian players in that playing XI boast character, but the bench strength is a bit of a worry.
It will be crucial for the Challengers to have their main set of players put in commanding performances. Virat Kohli and Fat du Plessis remain the ideal attractions in batting. Glenn Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik are the key customers with their aggressive and unorthodox style. Wanindu Hasaranga and Harshal Patel lead the show in the bowling department.
Ahead of the IPL 2023 season, we decode the probable playing XI of RCB.
Full squad of RCB
Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Suyash Prabhudessai, Rajat Patidar, Dinesh Karthik, Anuj Rawat, Finn Allen, Glenn Maxwell, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel, David Willey, Karn Sharma, Mahipal Lomror, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood, Siddarth Kaul, Akash Deep, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Michael Bracewell, Manoj Bhandage, Rajan Kumar, Avinash Singh, Sonu Yadav
Probable RCB XI
Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Rajat Patidar, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Josh Hazlewood
Breaking down RCB’s probable XI
Far du Plessis: Former South African star will lead the line for RCB upfront. Far has been a quality run-scorer consistently in the IPL, and RCB will need him to fire. Far was the top scorer for RCB last season, scoring 468 runs at 31.20. Overall, he has managed 3403 runs in the IPL.
Virat Kohli: The senior Indian batter is the leading scorer in IPL history, and once again, RCB will depend on Kohli for his heroics. Kohli didn’t have a solid season by his standards in IPL 2022 and will be eager to be amongst the runs. From IPL 2018 to 2021, he managed scores of over 400 runs. Kohli will be keen to form a superb combination with Fat and help RCB set the base consistently.
Rajat Patidar: Rajat Patidar showed he can be considered a top player after playing well in his second IPL season. In 8 games last year, Patidar smashed 333 runs at an average of 55.50. He smashed one ton and two fifties. RCB will hope Patidar backs himself with a similar show at a crucial position for the side.
Glenn Maxwell: A versatile player with all the shots in his armour, Aussie all-rounder Glenn Maxwell needs to have a big season if RCB are to go the distance. He has been a hit and a miss. After a cracking 2021 season, Maxwell managed just 301 runs last year. He needs to up the tally once again. Maxwell is a decent bowler with his spin on offer. It adds to his qualities as a multi-dimensional player.
Mahipal Lomror: Mahipal Lomror is a player who needs an upgrade on his offerings. In 7 games last season, he scored 86 runs with a best of 42. Given that his all-round skills will hardly be tested, his impact as a batter needs improvement. Anuj Rawat is an option RCB can use if Lomror fails to deliver. Rawat scored 160-plus runs last season. We could see a rotation basis here.
Dinesh Karthik: Dinesh Karthik did a solid job as a finisher for RCB last season, and his exploits helped him earn a passage back to the Indian team in the 20-over format. DK scored 330 runs in 16 games last season at 55.00. More importantly, he struck at a 180-plus strike rate. He will need a similar show in IPL 2023.
Wanindu Hasaranga: Sri Lankan bowling all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga is a leading spinner, and in a full-fledged season in 2022, he finished with a staggering 26 scalps. Given his consistency and success in the format, one can expect Hasaranga to have a similar season. He leads RCB’s spin attack.
Shahbaz Ahmed: Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed comes in at number eight. He adds a bit of flavor with his all-round skills. Although he took just 4 scalps last season, he scored 219 runs. He needs to show more precision with the ball and support Hasaranga. Ahmed is a key figure for RCB, and this could be a defining season for the Indian cricketer.
Harshal Patel: The prolific specialist in this format, Harshal will be a key figure for RCB with his wicket-taking abilities. After winning the Purple Cap in IPL 2021, Harshal claimed another 19 scalps last season. Harshal is excellent at the fag end of an innings, and as per ESPNcricinfo, he has managed 41 wickets from overs 17-20 at 16.58.
Mohammed Siraj: Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj has cemented his place in the longest format and ODIs for India. However, he can be a tad shy in the 20-over format. He was costly in IPL 2022, conceding over 10 (ER). He also claimed just nine scalps. Siraj’s inability to control his offerings means RCB are a bit too dependent on Harshal and Hasaranga.
Josh Hazlewood: He will be a key asset, and if the Aussie pacer can stay fit, it will benefit RCB. He missed the India tour due to an injury. Hazlewood’s participation in IPL 2023 is confirmed, and this will aid them. In IPL 2022, Hazlewood claimed 20 scalps at 18.85. He has a solid pace and bounce up his sleeves.