Reports: RCB’s Rajat Patidar likely to miss first half of IPL 2023 – BJ Sports

Rajat Patidar of Royal Challengers Bangalore raises his bat after scoring a century. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Rajat Patidar entered the Indian Premier League in style last year as he made a name for himself while representing the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Coming into the IPL 2022 as a replacement player, Patidar won everyone’s hearts with his batting class, and confirmed his spot in the team’s combination. 

He also hit the fastest hundred, by an Indian player, at the tournament which was also the quickest by an uncapped player. Reaching the three-figure mark in just 49 balls, Patidar’s ton helped RCB defeat Lucknow Super Giants and make their way into the second Eliminator. But the team received a major setback as the Madhya Pradesh cricketer is currently recovering from a heel injury and is likely to miss the first half of the tournament.

As per a report by ESPNCricinfo, Patidar has been instructed to rest and take it slow for the next three weeks till the results of the MRI tests determine whether or not he can play in the tournament’s second half. Rajat sustained the injury prior to reporting to the RCB camp and hence the 29-year-old must receive a clearance from the NCA before joining the team.

The RCB management would be forced to rearrange their top order due to Patidar’s absence. Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson had already stated that skipper Faf du Plessis and former RCB captain Virat Kohli would be seen batting as openers, but Patidar’s injury can force a lineup adjustment.

Patidar wasn’t initially a member of the RCB squad as no franchise bid for him at the IPL 2022 mega auction. Nonetheless, he was brought in to fill in for injured wicketkeeper-batter Lunvith Sisodia. After notching up a century against LSG in the eliminator and taking RCB a step closer to the finale, Patidar hit a half-century in the second qualifier against Rajasthan Royals but his knock went in vain as the Sanju Samson-led side emerged victorious.

With 333 runs at the end of the season, the 29-year-old was RCB’s third-highest run scorer behind Kohli and Du Plessis. His IPL achievements, followed by an admirable performance in his Ranji Trophy campaign that resulted in a championship, led to him receiving the India call-up. But RCB’s worries are not limited to Patidar’s absence.

RCB will be without the services of Australia’s pace sensation Josh Hazlewood, who joined the side last year after the mega auction. The pacer missed the recently concluded Border Gavaskar Trophy and also the three-match ODI series against India due to an Achilles injury. He is currently recovering and hence his participation in the cash-rich event is doubtful too.

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