IPL 2023 auction: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) SWOT Analysis

RCB
Royal Challengers Bangalore will have their eyes on the elusive IPL trophy

RCB came into the IPL auction with just 7 slots to fill with a purse of ₹8.75 crores. Their major overseas acquisitions were Will Jacks (₹3.2 crores) and Reece Topley (₹1.9 crores).

They now have a backup seam bowling option for Josh Hazlewood in Reece Topley. Will Jacks can slot in for any of the overseas batters depending on availability and form concerns.


A look at RCB's squad for IPL 2023

Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Suyash Prabhudessai, Rajat Patidar, Dinesh Karthik, Anuj Rawat, Finn Allen, Glenn Maxwell, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel, David Willey, Karn Sharma, Mahipal Lomror, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood, Siddarth Kaul, Akash Deep, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Will Jacks, Manoj Bhandage, Rajan Kumar, Avinash Singh, Sonu Yadav.

On paper, this is a fairly decent T20 squad. They seem to have the right blend of youth and experience. In this article, we do a SWOT analysis of the RCB squad ahead of IPL 2023.


Strengths

RCB have formed a very solid core group. Over the past three seasons, they have consistently been good enough to make it to the playoffs. Bangalore has a good mix of spin and pace hitters - availability concerns aside.

They also possess good batting depth - the likes of Hasaranga, Harshal and Shahbaz are multi-dimensional T20 cricketers. Their bowling depth is equally impressive.

They have a good pace bowling unit with Mohammad Siraj, Josh Hazlewood and Harshal Patel. Their backups - Reece Topley, David Willey and Siddharth Kaul - are also in good form. Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed and Glenn Maxwell form a good spin-bowling core, with Karn Sharma as a reserve.


Weaknesses

RCB do not have a batter that can attack from ball 1. Both Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli take their time to settle in the middle. Finn Allen can solve the issue, but he is not yet experienced enough to be a first-choice player ahead of the current core.

They also lack a quality number 5 option. Mahipal Lomror and Suyash Prabhudessai are likely to compete for the spot. Dinesh Karthik had a great season last year, but his return to the Indian team was little cause to celebrate.

Their bowling is also untested in Chinnaswamy, where the Challengers will be playing their home games. The absence of Yuzvendra Chahal might be felt if Hasaranga does not step up to the best of his abilities.

Mohammad Siraj's form in the last season of the IPL was a worry for RCB. Since the team will now be playing 7 games at home, he will have to step up as the first-choice Indian fast bowler for the Bangalore-based franchise.


Opportunities

Virat Kohli announced his return to form in T20 cricket at the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup - scoring 700 runs in 16 innings at an average of 70 and a strike rate of 142.

He was incredibly consistent and played match-winning knocks, the most notable being 82* vs Pakistan in the T20 WC. His form will be extremely crucial for RCB, should they go all the way next season.

Rajat Patidar was the stand-out batter for RCB in the last edition of the IPL. His century in the eliminator is part of the franchise's iconic moments in the tournament. He will be looking to make the most of the next season and try to make a legit case for being a part of the national T20 team setup.


Threats

Glenn Maxwell's injury may pose a serious threat to RCB. He suffered an unfortunate leg injury on his birthday, which ruled him out of all forms of cricket for at least 3 months.

Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga is also expected to miss the first few games due to international commitments. He is their main spin-bowling option and his absence will definitely be a cause of concern for the franchise.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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