RCB’s Rajat Patidar likely to miss first half of IPL 2023

Rajat Patidar struck 112* in 54 balls versus Lucknow Super Giants in IPL 2022.

Royal Challengers Bangalore's breakout star from IPL 2022, Rajat Patidar is set to miss the first half of the upcoming season due to a heel injury. Patidar is currently in rehab at National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

It is understood that Patidar has been advised to rest for three weeks before doing an MRI scan to determine the next course of action. Patidar sustained the injury before joining the camp, and will need a green signal from the NCA to participate in the league. 

Patidar was one of the best performing players for RCB last year and his absence will have ripple effects on their playing XI combination this season. RCB's director of cricket, had said that Virat Kohli would continue to open with Faf du Plessis. But with Patidar's absence, Kohli could be pushed to number three with Anuj Rawat opening the innings.

Patidar came in as a replacement for wicketkeeper Luvnith Sisodia halfway into the season and had a fantastic season, finishing as the third highest run-getter for the team. He scored 333 runs from seven innings at a strike rate of 152.75. In the Eliminator against Lucknow Super Giants, Patidar smashed an unbeaten 112 off 54 balls which was also the fastest hundred by an Indian in the history of the league. 

After making his name in the IPL, Patidar had outstanding returns in a title-winning Ranji Trophy campaign for Madhya Pradesh. He later earned a call-up to India's ODI squad last year.

Apart from Patidar, Royal Challengers Bangalore also have concerns over Josh Hazlewood's participation. The Australian fast bowler has been battling an Achilles tendonitis injury that has kept off the field several times in the last few months. Hazlewood had to fly home during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after missing the first two Tests. Hazlewood's participation is likely to be managed with Australia having the World Test Championship final and the Ashes lined up after the IPL.

Hazlewood is a key part of RCB's bowling attack. Last season he picked 20 wickets from 12 matches at an economy of 8.10. If he misses out a few games, RCB have Reece Topley and David Willey as the backups.

READ: Mohsin Khan, Mukesh Choudhary injury doubts

Glenn Maxwell not 100% fit 

Royal Challengers Bangalore have another concern for this year with their star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell still not fully fit from a freak leg injury he suffered last year. 

Maxwell, a crucial player in RCB's line-up, had fractured his leg at a birthday party and was sidelined for a few months. He made a comeback recently, playing in a couple of domestic matches and an ODI against India. 

“The legs are okay. It’s alright. It’s still going to be a couple of months before I am at my 100% but hopefully, it is good enough to get through this tournament and still do the job.” said Maxwell in an episode of RCB Bold Diaries.

Speaking about playing in front of the electric crown in M Chinnaswamy stadium, Maxwell said, “In the last couple of years, that is everything that players have talked about, so finally to get back here after a couple of years, it’s very exciting and we are all pretty pumped to play in front of our home fans finally.”