RCB released just five players, including Jason Behrendorff via trade, and retained the vast majority of the core that took them to Qualifier 2 in IPL 2022. Faf du Plessis and Co. have ₹8.75 crore in their purse for December 23 and will want to utilize that money to fill the few holes in their roster.
Here are three concerns for RCB heading into the IPL 2023 auction.
#3 RCB's squad lacks local flair
RCB let go of Luvnith Sisodia and Aneeshwar Gautam, who were part of their Karnataka core last year. While Sisodia was ruled out midway through the previous season with injury and was replaced by Rajat Patidar, Gautam has struggled to make a mark in domestic cricket of late.
As of now, RCB do not have any Karnataka-based players to add some local flair to the team. All franchises need a few names who lend it some identity, especially sides like Bangalore, which have a deep and loyal fanbase.
Mayank Agarwal is among those rumored to be in line for a homecoming, but RCB might have their eye on a few other young stars in the pace-bowling and all-rounder departments.
#2 RCB's core, especially the batting unit, is aging
The IPL mega-auction took place only last year, and rumors suggest that the cycles may get longer. It may be some time before RCB have the chance to orchestrate a full revamp, meaning that they need to keep an eye on the ages of their players.
RCB have young superstars like Wanindu Hasaranga, but most of their batting core have only a few years left at the top level. Du Plessis isn't active in international cricket anymore and is 38 years old, while Virat Kohli is a shadow of the hyper-motivated player he once was.
Glenn Maxwell is 34, while Dinesh Karthik - who plays an extremely unique role - is 37. Harshal Patel and Siddharth Kaul are no spring chickens either, and their only backup spinner, Karn Sharma, is 35.
A lot of fingers are pointed at teams like CSK for their average age, but RCB aren't too far behind. Their core is mostly aging, and they need to immediately find talented young players who can ensure a seamless transition.
#1 RCB need backups for Wanindu Hasaranga and Josh Hazlewood
Wanindu Hasaranga and Josh Hazlewood were extremely important for RCB in IPL 2022. They picked up a combined 46 wickets across all stages of the innings as Du Plessis' go-to bowlers in times of need.
However, Bangalore have no real backups for the duo. Karn Sharma seems to be Hasaranga's backup, and fielding the experienced Indian leggie would mean a massive drop in quality. For Hazlewood, on the other hand, David Willey is the only available option after Behrendorff was traded away.
Karn and Willey are decent, but they are not as versatile as Hasaranga and Hazlewood. They are also not as proven at a high level. RCB need to identify a couple of names who can step up in the event of an injury, especially with the international calendar being as packed as it is.
Poll : Is the average age of RCB's first-choice playing XI a concern?