A halt of 1500 long nights before you get to see your team perform on the home ground, in the red and golden jersey that they have been dawning for years now. Nothing in this match could have gone better than this for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. A befitting tournament start, the roar of king Kohli, an in-form South African skipper and the deadly pace attack. All the fans had to do was sit down with popcorn tubs beside them and watch the RCB’s daunting show on the night of 2nd April versus MI.

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RCB returns to Chinnaswamy with a bang, bags the 1st match with 8 wickets in hand

The most awaited clash, of Du Plessis’s Big guns and the Men in Blue with 5 IPLTrophies to their name had to be a nail-biting experience. With the Chinnaswamy stadium reopening for the team after a long and Covid-stricken journey of 4 years, the boys of the soil were back to unleash the turmoil of victory. 

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After being asked to bat first by RCB, Mumbai’s top order failed wretchedly to the bowling gimmicks Mohd. Siraj and Reece Topley. While Siraj got the better of the left-handed opener, Kishan, Topley cleaned Cameron green with a fierce Yorker that plucked out the leg stump. Soon Akashdeep outwit Rohit Sharma as he slipped a catch into the hands of Dinesh Karthik, soon after Siraj and Karthik had collided to drop him in the very last over. Suryakumar Yadav tried to build an innings but lost his wicket as he cut down an easy catch to the point, to the delivery of Bracewell. Tilak Verma put up a lone fight and led Mumbai to 171/7.

The Mumbai batsman contributed with an unbeaten 84 off 46 balls and formed an important partnership with Arshad Khan who scored 15* of 9 balls and Nehal Wadhela with 21 runs of 13 balls. After Mumbai was reduced to 48 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in 8.4 overs, he and Wadhela established a 50-run partnership. Though the total didn’t seem daunting on a pitch like this, with Jofra Archer and Behrendorff lined up in the bowling squad, Mumbai entered the field with high hopes, after Tilak guided them to a score of 171.

At no point, did the Openers feel uncomfortable facing the opposition’s bowlers. Be it Kohli smashing Jofra Archer for four after stepping down the crease in his very first over or Faf hitting Behrendorf for four and two humongous sixes, the batting seemed out of Mumbai’s expected plans. The pitch got easier, and the shots went classier. 

To prepare for the chase, the pair scored 148 runs off 89 balls. Du Plessis struck 73 off 43, while Kohli continued his unblemished streak with 82 off 49. The fact that RCB won in just 16.2 overs will increase their net run rate. Faf Du Plessis was named the Man of the Match for his innings and also bagged the award for the Catch of the Match.

Way Ahead for RCB in this Tournament and Key Players to watch for

This happened to be the first match of both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in the TATA IPL 2023. While RCB has been qualifying for the playoffs back to back for the last two seasons, MI has been found to lose track since their victory in 2020, miserably failing to qualify for the finals twice in a row now.

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The squad of RCB appears to be very sorted as of now. With the in-form Kiwi Michael Bracewell making an entry into the team, the team has been blessed with an all-rounder who could give you some overs of spin and some more destruction with the batting sword. The same goes for Glenn Maxwell, as he has been a great option for Faf to try out. With years, Glenn Maxwell has proved to be an often-used part-time spinner, who has mysterious spells to confuse the batsmen.

At the same point, Hasaranga would be missed by the team, after having performed exceptionally well for them in 2022, but Karn Sharma’s apt use by the captain would be something to look out for.

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The bowling attack in the opening overs seems perfect with Siraj dominating the White ball in the swing overs and Topley duly assisting him. Though the issues lie with the death bowling, as RCB happens to be the team to concede the most amount of runs in the Death overs in the past 7 years. While Harshal happens to be an opportunistic Wicket taker, his bad form isn’t good news for the Team.

The top and middle order batting looks immaculate with a plethora of all-rounder options in Shabaz, Willey and Bracewell. Kohli’s stupendous form has been troublesome for the opponents since the Asia Cup 2022 and the Team Management and the fans would hope for unleashing of the old IPL tycoon. Maxwell and Faf provide great fits for the Top order and assure to lead the team to greater heights. Dinesh Karthik happens to be another strong lead for the team, as finishing the match seems to be a cakewalk for him.

Image Source: The Indian Express

With a strong and balanced squad, and some pondering over the death bowling, RCB plan to face Kolkata Knight Riders in their next clash on 6th April. The team which has done wonders and won hearts in the past would be expected to bring in its inaugural cup and end the drought of 15 years for their fans who are spread worldwide.
The World’s most primer cricketing league awaits more enthralling action with some thrillers coming your way.

A First Year student at National Law University Delhi, Rishaan is someone who is a an avid reader owns a great interest in the field of Sports and Defence. Being connected to the Defence due to his schooling, he has a very broadened and unique perspective of the Defence world, but at the same time has a talent to reach out to the audience.

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