Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will resume their quest for the elusive IPL trophy when the tournament starts in a couple of months' time. While the official timeline for the event hasn't been announced, the franchise has begun its preparations already, with the likes of Dinesh Karthik and new recruit Avinash Singh part of a training camp recently.
RCB had a quiet affair at the IPL 2023 auction, having retained their core team from 2022. They have been the only side to qualify for the playoffs in each of the last three seasons and will look to go the full distance this time around.
While they boast plenty of experience in the form of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and skipper Faf du Plessis among others, there is a good presence of youth in their squad as well.
Let's take a look at three youngsters who could enjoy a breakout season for RCB in the new season.
#1 Mahipal Lomror
Rajasthan's Mahipal Lomror didn't take the tournament by storm in IPL 2022, but he made multiple contributions to RCB's middle order. The all-rounder had just five hit-outs with the bat, but pulled out impactful cameos against the Gujarat Titans (GT) and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), helping his side post a win against the latter in Pune.
There is a spot in the RCB middle order that could be up for grabs in IPL 2023. Moreover, with the jury still out on whether Dinesh Karthik can replicate his heroics as a finisher from last season, Lomror has the opportunity to showcase his skills to that end.
An effortless spin-hitter who bowls left-arm spin and bats left-handed is an invaluable T20 commodity. A breakout IPL 2023 season could just see Lomror move higher up the ranks and even stake a claim for greater honors.
#2 Manoj Bhandage
The only Karnataka player in the RCB ranks, Manoj Bhandage was a very shrewd pick at the IPL 2023 auction. That the hard-hitting seam-bowling all-rounder being picked for his base price of ₹20 lakh ensured it was one of the best deals that the Challengers were able to make.
Bhandage's T20 strike rate of 154.66 is a fair reflection of his hard-hitting skills with the bat. He bats left-handed and can don the finisher's role, while also sending down useful overs of medium-pace.
RCB are in need of developing a batting lineup for the long run with some of their key players on the wrong side of their thirties. Should Bhandage step up and have a breakout IPL 2023 season, he could well form a pivotal component of their core in the years to come.
Given that the upcoming season will see teams revert to the home-and-away format, Bhandage's knowledge of the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium will also come in handy for him.
#3 Akash Deep
Bengal seamer Akash Deep played a few games in IPL 2022 and bowled at a good pace throughout the same. He found it tough to sustain his presence in the playing XI once a few regulars returned, but he does possess potential.
Deep might find it tough to break into RCB's XI in IPL 2023 as well, given that Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel are their frontline Indian pacers. Yet, the 26-year-old fast-bowler could get a look-in should the team consider reworking their pace combination.
Mind you, he is no mug with the bat either as he smashed an 18-ball unbeaten 53 in last year's Ranji Trophy clash between Bengal and Jharkhand. Purely on his primary skill of being a pacer too, don't be surprised if he enjoys a good outing in IPL 2023.
Which youngster in the RCB team are you most looking forward to watching in IPL 2023? Let us know in the comments section below!
Also read: 5 uncapped fast bowlers who can break into the Indian team with a good IPL 2023 season
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