At the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday, Bangalore will face Rohit Sharma and the Mumbai franchise in the opening game of the Indian T20 League 2023. Josh Hazlewood and Glenn Maxwell, both Australian players, might not be available for the opening match for the Faf du Plessis-led Bangalore.
While batting all-rounder Maxwell, who recently overcame a fractured leg, ought to be ready for selection beginning with the second game, pacer Hazlewood is expected to be out for an extended amount of time. There are fewer overseas options to choose from as Wanindu Hasaranga is also away with international duty in New Zealand.
Let’s take a look at the predicted playing XI for Bangalore against Mumbai
1) Top Order
Bangalore captain Faf Du Plessis will be the first-choice opener for the team but his batting partner is a debate that might be answered on the matchday itself. Virat Kohli might be his likely partner but they can give a chance to Kiwi opener Finn Allen.
If that’s the case, Virat would likely slot in at number three for the match against Mumbai. Kohli is in the right form finally and would be looking to score a ton of runs for Bangalore in the coming season. He believes his best is yet to come for the franchise and he would look to do anything required from him this season.
2) Middle order and wicket-keeper
Glenn Maxwell’s fitness is still a cause of concern for the Bangalore side going into the match. He missed out on the final two games against India in March but played the practice game at the end of the month. He scored a vital 78* and might be in contention to start the game.
Mahipal Lomror will look to impress everyone again along with last year’s superstar wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik. It will be interesting to see whether Dinesh Karthik can replicate the form that got him selected for the Indian team last year.
Wanindu Hasaranga is going to be a big miss for the Bangalore side as he is still on international duty for Sri Lanka against New Zealand. They are likely to replace him with Michael Bracewell, who hit a stellar century in the practice game a couple of days back. For Shahbaz Ahmed to relieve others of their weight, he must be more reliable.
Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, and Reece Topley are all excellent pacemakers for Bangalore. While the batter's performance appears to be formidable on paper, the team will progress to the tournament's final round with superior bowler execution.
Topley will play ahead of David Willey as the former’s pace and accuracy can be key on a ground like M. Chinnaswamy. Topley would be looking to impress the franchise and the team management and prove that he can be a lethal bowler and can start ahead of the likes of seasoned bowlers like Josh Hazelwood, who is currently on the sidelines.