The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to commence on Friday, with the defending champions, Gujarat Titans, taking on the four-time winners, Chennai Super Kings. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), led by South African star Faf du Plessis, will be seeking their first-ever IPL title as they face Mumbai Indians in their opening match.
Strong Performance in IPL 2022
Last season, RCB had a commendable run, winning eight of their 14 matches and reaching the playoffs. They managed to defeat Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator, but their journey ended with a loss against Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2.
Key Players to Watch
Captain Faf du Plessis was instrumental in RCB’s success last season, amassing 468 runs in 16 matches, including three half-centuries. Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga was another standout performer, claiming 26 wickets and becoming the second-highest wicket-taker of the season.
Home Advantage and Kohli’s Form
This year’s IPL reintroduces home and away matches, which means RCB will return to their home ground at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. This could provide a significant boost to former skipper Virat Kohli, who has returned to form after a lean patch last year.
RCB faces injury concerns as young batter Rajat Patidar is likely to miss the first half of the season due to a heel injury. His absence could force RCB to reevaluate their batting lineup, potentially shifting Kohli to number three and considering Finn Allen or Anuj Rawat as du Plessis’ opening partner. In addition, there are doubts about pacer Josh Hazlewood’s participation in the tournament as he recovers from Achilles tendonitis.
RCB’s Strongest XI
Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Suyash Prabhudessai, Anuj Rawat, Glenn Maxwell, Dinesh Karthik, Finn Allen, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj
RCB’s 14 matches in IPL 2023 span from April 2 to May 21. They will face off against Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lucknow Super Giants, Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Gujarat Titans.
With a balanced and experienced squad, RCB will be hoping to finally claim the coveted IPL trophy in 2023. Their journey begins on April 2nd against Mumbai Indians, and fans around the world will be eagerly watching to see if this is the year the Royal Challengers Bangalore make history.