The high-octane clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) is set to kick off the IPL 2023 season, as both teams aim for a strong start. The two Indian cricket stars, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, will lead their respective teams as they strategize against each other at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
RCB hopes to capitalize on their home advantage during the first four weeks of the competition, while Mumbai seeks redemption after a dismal last season, which saw them finishing at the bottom. Despite their poor overall performance in 2022, MI boasts an impressive record at the high-scoring venue, winning eight out of ten contests against RCB. However, RCB has claimed victory in three of their last five encounters.
In terms of team composition, MI will rely heavily on their Indian talent, including Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Thilak Varma. RCB, on the other hand, will count on their overseas strength, with Kohli and Dinesh Karthik forming the core of the Indian batting lineup. With Rajat Patidar injured, Anuj Rawat and Suyash Prabhudessai will need to step up, alongside Mahipal Lomror.
RCB appears to have an edge over MI in their bowling attack. Despite missing Jasprit Bumrah, MI will have Jofra Archer leading the pace attack, while Piyush Chawla serves as the primary spinner. Glenn Maxwell’s return from a freak accident bodes well for RCB, as does captain Faf du Plessis’ form. With Josh Hazlewood expected to join the team only after the halfway mark, Reece Topley’s role will be crucial.
In the past, RCB’s left-arm pacers have performed well on their home turf, and England fast bowler Topley will aim to emulate his predecessors. He will be joined by Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel in the bowling lineup. As leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga is yet to join the squad, newcomer Michael Bracewell could make his debut for RCB as the fourth overseas player, with Shahbaz Ahmed as another spin option.
As RCB and MI gear up for their opening match, the stage is set for a thrilling contest, with both teams eager to begin their journey on a winning note.