The Royal Challengers Bangalore will be hoping to end a 15-year wait for the elusive IPL championship this season. Last year, they advanced to the playoffs only to be eliminated a step before the championship game. Stars such as Dinesh Karthik, Rajat Patidar, and skipper Faf du Plessis were instrumental in Royal Challengers’ run to the playoffs, and they will look to replicate their success.
Former captain Virat Kohli struggled last year, scoring only one fifty-plus total, but in the previous six months, he’s produced five hundreds (across forms). Allrounders Glenn Maxwell and Wanindu Hasaranga are likely to play important roles, while Reece Topley joins the bowling unit.
The Bengaluru-based franchise already has Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, and Josh Hazlewood – though an injury may force him to miss some games. Another injury issue is Patidar, and RCB has brought in Michael Bracewell to replace the injured Will Jacks. To summarize, Du Plessis will be spoiled for choice when it comes to bowling. They have a nice mix of all-rounders as well, but a lot will be on Kohli, Maxwell, Karthik, and the captain himself.
How They Fared the Previous Time
RCB narrowly missed out on a fourth IPL final after being defeated by Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2. With Kohli stepping down as captain of the club in 2021, Du Plessis took over as captain, and while they lost their first game to the Punjab Kings, they went on to win three games in a row. The club finished fourth in the league stage, thanks to some last-gasp inspired efforts by Karthik and Patidar.
The Patidar century was the difference in the Eliminator against Lucknow Super Giants, but they couldn’t get past Sanju Samson’s side in the next game.
Five Guys to Keep an Eye on for
Kohli, who has regained his mojo in recent months with three century this year alone – across formats – will undoubtedly be the one to watch. He is the most prolific run-scorer in IPL history and has a flair for delivering on the big stage. Yet, he has yet to break the 500-run threshold since 2018, and doing so could be crucial. If the 34-year-old can handle the majority of the scoring for RCB, it will relieve a lot of weight on others around him, allowing them to thrive. Based on the number of starts he has received in 2023, there are encouraging signals that fans will get to see the Kohli of old this season.
Faf du Plessis:
He was the RCB’s leading run-scorer last year, with 468 runs. The franchise expects more of the same from the Proteas legend. For RCB, Du Plessis opened the innings, laying the groundwork for Karthik and Patidar to build on. With Patidar out, the onus will be on the other star players to carry the torch, especially the captain, who rarely made a mistake last year.
The Sri Lankan spin maestro narrowly missed out on the purple cap last season by a single wicket; Hasaranga took 26 wickets, while Yuzvendra Chahal took 27. Overall, the 25-year-old was the second-highest wicket-taker last year, and with his propensity to play some huge shots down the order, he has already put in some good performances in RCB colors.
Faf du Plessis (C), Finn Allen, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Reece Topley, Mohammed Siraj, Karn Sharma are the strongest playing XI.
RCB Team Full squad
Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad Siraj, Faf Du Plessis, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik, Shahbaz Ahmed, Rajat Patidar, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Josh Hazlewood, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Suyash Prabhudessai, Karn Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, David Willey, Reece
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Full Schedule
- April 2, 2023 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, Bengaluru
- April 6, 2023 – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata
- April 10, 2023 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Lucknow Super Giants, Bengaluru
- April 15, 2023 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Capitals, Bengaluru
- April 17, 2023 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings, Bengaluru
- April 20, 2023 – Punjab Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mohali
- April 23, 2023 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals, Bengaluru
- April 26, 2023 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Bengaluru
- May 1, 2023 – Lucknow Super Giants vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Lucknow
- May 6, 2023 – Delhi Capitals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi
- May 9, 2023 – Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai
- May 14, 2023 – Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Jaipur
- May 18, 2023 – Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Hyderabad
- May 21, 2023 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Titans, Bengaluru