Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batting coach Sanjay Bangar, informed that pacer Reece Topley has been ruled out of IPL 2023 after he disolcated his shoulder in their opening game vs Mumbai Indians (MI). Bangar was speaking to the broadcasters during KKR vs RCB game in Kolkata and informed that Topley decided to head back home after he suffered the injury. Bangar also gave some good news for the RCB and their fans when he said that Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood is expected to join the squad by April 14. He added that Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga will join the team on the April 10.
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Hazelwood has been carrying the Achilles injury for last 2 months now and missed the entire tour of India due to the same reason. Bangar said that if all goes as per plan, Hazlewood is expected to play RCB’s April 17th game vs MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Bengaluru.
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) April 6, 2023
Topley did not play RCB’s second match of the season vs KKR on Thursday night which grew the suspicion for his long absence from the tournament. He was replaced by David Willey in the playing XI against KKR, who picked up crucial two wickets at the start of the innings in form of Venkatesh Iyer and Mandeep Singh. Willey, in fact, missed the chance to pick his first IPL hattrick.
With Hazlewood and Hasaranga expeced to join the squad soon, RCB’s bowling department will be in good stead. Hasaranga will be key to their plans as the mystery spinner is a great T20 bowler. In his place, India’s Karn Sharma is playing in the XI. It would also be interesting to see who makes way for Hazlewood if he is fit again. If Willey continues to do well, it will become hard to remove him from the XI. It is also not a given that Hazlewood, returning from a long layoff, will be back to full form straightaway. Needless to say, some important decisions need to be taken by RCB management in immediate future.