IPL is starting from 31st March 2023, and the air is filled with excitement. Fans and teams eagerly await the IPL schedule each year and IPL 2023 schedule is out. The 2023 IPL season will start on March 31 and promises to be another exciting edition, with some tough matches lined up for the teams. On the first day, the defending champions Gujarat Titans will take on the four-time winners Chennai Super Kings at Narendra Modi Stadium.
The wait is finally over for fans as this edition will be the same home-and-away format as before 2019. So, everyone is eagerly anticipating this IPL season. There will be 10 teams, each divided into two groups. Each team will play 14 league matches. These matches will be a tough challenge for these teams, and they will need to be at their finest to start their campaigns on a positive note.
Group A includes Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, and Lucknow Super Giants. Alternatively, in group B we have Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Titans, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Punjab Kings, and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Our discussion here will focus on three franchises that will face difficult opening fixtures in IPL 2023.
1. Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians is the most successful franchise in IPL history with 5 titles and a strong roster to back up their strengths. MI fans, however, will have some serious concerns in the 2023 IPL season as Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer are likely to miss first few matches this season. The injury issues aren’t the only concern; they have tough fixtures lined up at the beginning of the season as well.
In their opening game, Mumbai Indians will face RCB at their home ground M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
After the first match, they will have a six-day break before facing arch-rivals CSK at home. After that, the MI team will travel to Delhi for the third encounter of the season against the Delhi Capitals. As with the past two IPLs, MI has started slowly, and that could again be the case in the 2023 edition.
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore
While RCB has always been a glorified team with star-studded players, they have yet to win a championship. However, the team qualified for the third consecutive playoff in the 2022 edition, which serves as a boost to their performance. Their previous campaign finished third and they hope to improve upon that this time around.
With a more balanced side than previous editions, RCB fans will hope for glory. But it won’t be that easy as their initial fixtures are also tough. In the first match, RCB faces 5-time champion Mumbai Indians at home. In the next game, they will travel to Kolkata to face KKR. The RCB has encountered difficulties in playing MI and KKR. As a result, it will be quite a challenge.
3. Punjab Kings
With the newly appointed captain and coach for the 2023 IPL, Punjab fans will hope to get to the playoffs and start a successful campaign. But that won’t be an easy task as their first three match-ups will be against KKR, RR, and SRH.
They will play two of their first three matches away from home, starting with their match against KKR in Mohali. For the Punjab-based franchise, having two back-to-back away games might pose a challenge early on in the campaign.
Which team you think has the toughest first match in IPL 2023 schedule. Let us know in comments.