Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra feels that the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will need to step up with their bowling in IPL 2023 as it could prove their weak point when they play at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. However, they already had a good bowling combination heading into the mini-auction in Kochi on Friday, December 23. Notably, they also added Reece Topley, who has enjoyed great success for England this year as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra added that the lack of a genuine sixth bowling option in the playing XI could be an issue for them in IPL 2023.
He said: “You need six bowling options. That is one thing that can trouble this team slightly. They might play Mahipal Lomror because of that or expect bowling from Glenn Maxwell. The Chinnaswamy ground is absolutely unforgiving. It takes the life of good bowlers, so it won’t allow part-timers to even pitch the ball.”
The veteran also shared that RCB’s bowling has not been tested enough in the last few seasons of the cash-rich league as well.
He added, “They have regularly qualified for the playoffs for the last few years but an important aspect in that is they were not playing at home but away, whether it was Abu Dhabi and Dubai, or grounds in Maharashtra. They did well there, the bowling was never put under so much pressure.”
“I don’t think David Willey will work at the Chinnaswamy ground” – Aakash Chopra
However, the Royal Challengers Bangalore have qualified for the playoffs in the last three editions of the IPL but they did not play a single game on the Chinnaswamy track across those three years. And, Aakash Chopra also feels that RCB will have to play Topley ahead of David Willey in their playing XI at home if Josh Hazlewood is absent.
He stated, “Josh Hazlewood is not available for the first few games. I don’t think David Willey will work at the Chinnaswamy ground. So if Josh Hazlewood is not there, you will see Reece Topley playing, and Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel will make it your three fast bowlers.”
He also added that Shahbaz Ahmed and Wanindu Hasaranga cannot be entirely depended upon at the Chinnaswamy as well. However, Hasaranga was RCB’s leading wicket-taker in IPL 2022 with 26 wickets to his name. Shahbaz, meanwhile, claimed just four wickets in the tournament as well.
“After that, you have Wanindu Hasaranga and Shahbaz Ahmed but you will have to play one more bowler because you are not sure whether Shahbaz can bowl all his overs considering the ground. We have seen in the Lanka Premier League that even Wanindu concedes 50 in 4 if you go after him,” Aakash Chopra concluded.