Josh Hazlewood, who hasn’t played a single match this year, will miss the initial stages of the tournament as he recovers from a Achilles tendonitis injury.
He’s still in Sydney and a recent report from cricket.com.au suggested Hazlewood will remain back home until he’s fit and is currently only hopeful of turning up for RCB this season at all.
Speedster sustained his injury in early December and has missed all the action since then, including the 4-Test Border-Gavaskar series in India and the ODI series as well. With the WTC final and the Ashes to follow immediately after the IPL 2023, it is highly unlikely that Hazlewood will be available to play for RCB this season.
The lanky Australian pacer, who was picked up by RCB at the 2022 mega auction for INR 7.75 crore, snapped up 20 wickets in 12 matches last season, finishing as the RCB’s second-highest wicket-taker.
“As fun as T20 is and as lucrative as it is, I find it still plays second fiddle to Test cricket,” Hazlewood had said in February while in Bengaluru. “This series, Ashes series, home summers are what you play cricket for. I don’t think that will ever change. It’s probably about short-term loss versus long-term gain a lot of the time. You’ve got a T20 World Cup or an IPL or a one-day series, it’s about still ticking those boxes off the field to be ready to go for a Test series.”
Glenn Maxwell likely to miss RCB’s first match vs MI; Rajat Patidar ruled out for half season
Apart from Hazlewood, RCB have been hit with other injuries to first-choice players. Rajat Patidar has already been ruled out for at least half season due to a heel injury and he’s at the NCA for recovery.
Glenn Maxwell, the marquee all-rounder and a key figure in the line-up as RCB’s spin basher and part-time off-spinner, is also recovering from a leg injury from last year.
He marked his return from injury in February, appearing in one first-class match for Victoria, scoring 5 and 0. He played in the first ODI at Wankhede vs India, scoring 8 runs but missed the next two ODIs. There is doubt over his participation in RCB’s first match of the IPL 2023 season, on April 2nd at home vs Mumbai Indians.
Earlier, RCB lost their expensive signing from the IPL 2023 auction, England all-rounder Will Jacks to injury, replacing him with Michael Bracewell.
RCB squad for IPL 2023:
Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Suyash Prabhudesai, Manoj Bhandage, Mahipal Lomror, Glenn Maxwell, Michael Bracewell, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed, David Willey, Finn Allen, Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik, Akash Deep, Avinash Singh, Josh Hazlewood, Siddarth Kaul, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Rajan Kumar, Himanshu Sharma, Karn Sharma, Sonu Yadav