"Virat Kohli's dream of winning the trophy will come true this time" - Sanjay Manjrekar shares prediction for IPL 2023
Former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar believes that Virat Kohli and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) could win their first-ever Indian Premier League (IP) trophy in the upcoming season.
Manjrekar opined that the Bangalore-based franchise has a very potent bowling attack this time around. He suggested that the side would do very well, given that skipper Faf du Plessis is amongst the runs.
Here's what the cricketer-turned-commentator predicted while speaking to ESPNcricinfo ahead of IPL 2023:
"Yes, I feel Virat Kohli's dream of winning the trophy will come true this time. They have a wonderful bowling attack. If Faf du Plessis scores runs, they will have a great chance."
Along with RCB, Manjrekar picked Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), and Rajasthan Royals (RR) as the top contenders to make it to the playoffs in this year's cash-rich league.
"Chandrakant Pandit will likely make most of the decisions from outside" - Sanjay Manjrekar on KKR
KKR have named Indian batter Nitish Rana as their interim captain for IPL 2023, with regular skipper Shreyas Iyer expected to miss several matches as he continues to recover from a back injury.
Sanjay Manjrekar emphasized that Rana and Co. will thrive as the majority of the decisions will be made by their new head coach, Chandrakant Pandit.
Answering if the change in captaincy will help the two-time champions turn things around, he added:
"Yes, definitely, because I believe that Chandrakant Pandit will likely make most of the decisions from outside."
Manjrekar further stated that RR's Jos Buttler and Yuzvendra Chahal could once again finish as the leading run-getter and the highest wicket-taker, respectively. In the previous season, Buttler, who scored 863 runs, was the winner of the Orange Cap, while Chahal took home the Purple Cap after picking up 27 wickets.
The 57-year-old also predicted that Sunrisers Hyderabad's (SRH) tearaway speedster Umran Malik could hit the 160 kmph mark in IPL 2023. It is worth mentioning that the bowler cloaked 157 kmph in one of the league matches last year.
The defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) will take on the MS Dhoni-led CSK in the opening fixture of IPL 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday, March 31.
Commenting on Dhoni's IPL future, Manjrekar remarked that one cannot predict anything about the former India captain.
Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.