A well balanced squad at their disposal, Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to maintain their recent winning momentum against Mumbai Indians when the two sides clash in their opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Sunday
RCB vs MI (Pic: AFP)
A well balanced squad at their disposal, Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to maintain their recent winning momentum against Mumbai Indians when the two sides clash in their opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Sunday.
Bangalore boasts of three consecutive victories against Rohit Sharma and Co. in their last five meetings since the 14th edition of the tournament. The franchise, led by Faf du Plessis, with the ever-experienced Virat Kohli by his side, would want to make the most of their campaign opener in a desperate bid for maiden title win in the league. However, with the likes of Rajat Patidar and Josh Hazlewood having been sidelined for at least the first half of this IPL due to injuries, a lot remains at stake for the side. Power-hitter Glenn Maxwell is also unlikely to feature in Sunday's game. It remains to be seen how Maxwell shapes up given that he missed the last two ODIs for Australia against India in the recent series after playing the first match in Mumbai.
As it stands out, it will be hard for the side to find someone fill in the shoes of Patidar, who was their third highest-scorer last year with 333 runs in eight matches at 55.50, including two fifties. He hit the fastest century by an Indian in IPL in the Qualifier 1. If Patidar contributed with consistent flow of runs, Hazlewood, on the other hand, was the team's second most successful bowler with 20 wickets in 20 matches.
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RCB will also have to wait for their Sri Lankan spin ace Wanindu Hasaranga, who is away on national duty. He will miss a few opening games. However, the late inclusion of New Zealand's Michael Bracewell will be a great asset lower down the batting order. The presence of Dinesh Karthik down the order also makes them a fearful side. Pacers Harshal Patel and Mohammed Siraj must also be kept a close notice at.
Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, finished the last edition lurking at bottom of the points table with only four wins from 14 matches. Mumbai, which is the most successful team in IPL history with five trophies in their cabinet, will aim to put their best foot forward against a formidable RCB side.
Without their ace bowler Jasprit Bumrah and Jhye Richardson who are ruled out for the season, MI's hopes will be pinned on Jofra Archer to fill the void and guide the other bowlers that the team management has marked out. Captain Sharma and the experienced Suryakumar Yadav will be the linchpins in the batting order, alongside youngsters Tilak Verma, Dewald Brevis, Tristan Stubbs and Tim David for company. Opener Ishan Kishan will be expected to attain consistency with the bat as he is also the team's earmarked wicketkeeper. Besides Cameron Green, Mumbai look a bit light on the spin front with former India spinner Piyush Chawla leading the pack that also features Kumar Kartikeya who auditioned for them last year with four matches.
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Full squads: RCB vs MI
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Mohammad Siraj, Harshal Patel, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Suyash Prabhudesai, Karn Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, David Willey, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Manoj Bhandage, Rajan Kumar, Avinash Singh, Sonu Yadav, Michael Bracewell.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Tim David, Dewald Brevis, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan (wk), Tristan Stubbs, Vishnu Vinod, Cameron Green, Arjun Tendulkar, Ramandeep Singh, Shams Mulani, Nehal Wadhera, Hrithik Shokeen, Arshad Khan, Duan Jansen, Piyush Chawla, Kumar Kartikeya, Raghav Goyal, Jofra Archer, Jason Behrendorff, Akash Madhwal
Match Starts at 7:30 pm IST.
(With PTI inputs)