Ahead of the IPL 2023 mini-auction, the Royal Challengers Bangalore released only a total of 5 players – one (Jason Behrendorff) was traded away to Mumbai Indians and four others were released.
RCB players retained: Faf du Plessis (c), Shahbaz Ahmed, Finn Allen, Akash Deep, Wanindu Hasaranga, Josh Hazlewood, Dinesh Karthik, Siddarth Kaul, Virat Kohli, Mahipal Lomror, Glenn Maxwell, Harshal Patel, Rajat Patidar, Suyash Prabhudessai, Anuj Rawat, Karn Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, David Willey
RCB Players released: Jason Behrendorff (traded), Sherfane Rutherford, Chama Milind, Aneeshwar Gautam, Luvnith Sisodia
The fact that RCB has released a few players – none of whom were part of their best XI – is telling that they already have their side prepared for the next season and in the auction will be looking to either bolster the XI or get some backups. Since RCB hasn’t released many players, they also have a small purse of INR 8.75 crore.
As has been the case in the past decade and more, Australians are going to be in big numbers in the auction.
Here are 3 Australian players who RCB might target in IPL 2023 auction:
While Josh Hazlewood has not yet pulled out of the IPL 2023, it is going to be a possibility that the lanky Australian pacer withdraws ahead of the season because of the heavy Test match duty next year for Australia and also the ODI World Cup later in the year. Cummins and Starc have already pulled out from the 2023 IPL.
In that case – or either if Hazlewood gets injured – RCB would want a proper backup for Hazlewood that also get in their budget. Sean Abbott, who played in only 1 match for SRH last season and was released, could be a good backup for Hazlewood.
Sean Abbott has a vast experience of 116 T20 matches so far in which he’s taken 142 wickets, and is a seasoned campaigner in the BBL. The right-arm seamer can bowl in the powerplay and is a regular bowler in the death overs.
Adam Zampa had surprisingly gone unsold in the IPL 2022 mega-auction despite playing a crucial role in Australia’s 2021 T20 WC winning tournament, but is likely to find a franchise this time. He could reunite with RCB where he spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Zampa remains Australia’s first-choice spinner in limited-overs internationals, and would prove to be an apt backup for Hasaranga. Zampa has snapped up 43 wickets in T20Is since 2021 at a brilliant economy of 7.24.
Travis Head was part of RCB in 2016 and 2017, featuring in 10 games in which he averaged 29 and had a strike rate of 138. He isn’t part of Australia’s T20I team, but RCB might show interest in the left-hander because not only he is an excellent player of spin bowling, but also can contribute with the ball as an off-spinner – characteries similar to Glenn Maxwell, the all-rounder who at the moment is uncertain of his fitness.
Maxwell has been ruled out for months of action after sustaining an ankle injury recently and this has also put his participation in the IPL 2023 under threat. In that case, RCB can chase Travis Head, who would be available for a cheap price too, in the IPL 2023 mini-auction.