Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are set to face five-time champions Mumbai Indians in their opening clash of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season on Sunday. But in the lead up to the game, they were struggling with player availability for different reasons. While Josh Hazlewood is set to miss the first half of the season, Wanindu Hasaranga is yet to arrive due to being on national duty. Moreover, their ace all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was doubtful for the MI clash. However, RCB's head coach Sanjay Bangar has confirmed that the Australian cricketer is fully fit and available.
Maxwell had sustained an injury at a birthday party and was since then out of action. He made his comeback during the ODI series against India last month but didn't play the last two matches. Maxwell's availability solves a lot of issues for RCB but in yet another latest update, the team's key number three batter Rajat Patidar is more or less confirmed to miss at least the first half of the season.
Bangar has stated that the National Cricket Academy (NCA) will take a call on him and hoped that Patidar plays at some stage during IPL 2023. "As far as Rajat goes, at this point he's out of our control, at the NCA he's sort of undergoing treatment in that particular academy and we are still waiting for the clarifications from him. And once we get the clarifications, our media team will certainly keep you in the loop and it might also be the case the NCA will take a very sporting call on what he does or what his future holds," Bangar said ahead of the MI clash.
He also opened up on Josh Hazlewood not joining the team yet due to injury but is happy with the replacement player they have in the squad. "We sort of anticipated it and it was factored in the auction or pre-auction meeting. We are happy to secure the services of Reece Topley, who provides a like-for-like replacement for Josh and having factored in that, that sort of gives us a good cover. I am sure his left-arm bowling option will add to the bowling group," Bangar added.