Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra believes the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will not target as they will be unable to afford England all-rounder Sam Curran at the upcoming IPL 2023 auction.
The franchise has retained 18 players ahead of the mini-auction to be held in Kochi on December 23. They have a remaining purse of INR 8.75 crores and can buy a maximum of seven players.
In a video posted by him on his YouTube channel, Chopra said that RCB would not look to go after Curran even though they will be interested in left-arm pacers. He said:
“There will be matches in Chinnaswamy as well this time, the simple meaning of that is – make your bowling side slightly more heavy, buy someone who you can get cheap. They might want to go towards left-armers. They will not even think about Sam Curran, nor will they be able to afford him.”
The former Indian cricketer has suggested replacements for Aussie pacer Josh Hazlewood who is likely to leave earlier for the Ashes in England. Bowlers like Reece Topley, Dilshan Madushanka and Joshua Little as left-arm seam-bowling options were suggested by him.
“It can be Reece Topley, Madushanka or Joshua Little. They might need a backup for Josh Hazlewood as well because this is the Ashes year. Some people might run away in between this year. It can be Paul van Meekeren as well. This team might look towards associate nations.”
“I rate Zampa a little higher” – Aakash Chopra on RCB going for a spinner
Aakash Chopra opines that RCB might buy another spinner in the form of Adam Zampa or Adil Rashid as a backup for Wanindu Hasaranga, elaborating:
“If you talk about their spin department, you can see Adam Zampa or Adil Rashid as a backup for Wanindu Hasaranga. I will go towards Zampa, they can go whichever way they want. I rate Zampa a little higher.”
He also feels that Faf du Plessis-led RCB should strengthen their lower-middle order ahead of the next season and said:
“Daryl Mitchell is available. They tend to have problems in the lower-middle order because they have to get the job done by Shahbaz Ahmed and Dinesh Karthik, so you feel you can get one or two more guys. I don’t see Wanindu Hasaranga as an all-rounder but a bowler, because he has not contributed much with the bat in the IPL.”
RCB will also be concerned over the fitness of Glenn Maxwell. The Australian all-rounder broke his leg in a freak accident during a birthday party and is unsure when he can fully recover from the injury.