Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan believes the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) need to add depth in the fast-bowling department in the IPL 2023 auction set to take place on Friday, December 23.
While Pathan feels that RCB have almost all of their bases covered, he emphasized that fast bowler Josh Hazlewood may not be available for the full season with the Ashes set to take place in England next summer. Hazlewood has been sensational for Bengaluru and his absence could hurt their chances of going deep in the tournament.
"Last year, they were bowling Akash Deep in the powerplay, who’s quite young. He bowled pretty decently whenever he got the chance, but if they can get one quality fast bowler who can bowl with the new ball I think that side will look much better."
"Hazlewood, we need to keep in mind, it’s an Ashes year and it's very important for Australian and England players so they will be fully focused on that. So, if you have a backup for him, and I think that’s what they must be thinking as well – to find a good fast bowler and a few domestic players to fill the middle order as well."
Irfan Pathan on RCB's all-rounders
Irfan Pathan believes the Royal Challengers are well-stacked in the all-rounders' department, with quality players like Glenn Maxwell, Wanindu Hasaranga, and Shahbaz Ahmed in the mix. He feels all-rounders are crucial in this format as they give that added balance to the side.
Pathan also spoke about their opening combination, stating:
"RCB look pretty much a set side, they have fantastic openers, now Virat Kohli’s form is well within. They have four players who could actually do both jobs, especially Maxwell and Lomror can bowl in matches, as well as Hasaranga and Shahbaz Ahmed. They both can actually bat as well. So, they have quite a few all-rounders."
Will the Royal Challengers Bangalore finally break the jinx and win their maiden IPL title next year? Let us know in the comments.