Social media users flooded X with Ambati Rayudu's memes amid a raging controversy over his comments against Virat Kohli after Royal Challengers Bengaluru's (RCB) barren run in the Indian Premier League (IPL) continued in 2024.

In the 17-year history of the IPL, RCB has never lifted the trophy in the prestigious T20 competition despite having Virat Kohli in their ranks since the IPL's inception in 2008.

In the 2024 IPL, RCB made a dramatic turnaround to win six games in a row to make the playoffs but performed poorly to lose to Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the knockout fixture earlier this month.

In his latest scathing attack on Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu urged the talismanic RCB star to lower his standards as youngsters were facing difficulties in matching his tenacity on the field.

“When you have a stalwart or a legend like Virat Kohli, who has set really high standards for the best in the game to match. So, it is very-very hard for youngsters to be in a side like Virat Kohli and really try and match his standards because he wants the team to be at that standard. Sometimes the burden of really trying to be Virat Kohli in a squad where you know, no body is going to be Virat Kohli,” Ambati Rayudu said on Star Sports.

“Patidar can only be a Patidar but not Virat Kohli, and RCB as a management should understand that you can not have 11 Virat Kohli. You need to have 1 Virat Kohli with 10 others being themselves, have their own identities, have their own strengths and weaknesses and you need to use them well in terms of resources. You cannot expect a player to win you games in the very first season, you need to give them that little leavy at times and draw them into a match-winner,” he added.

“I think the management has a task to cut-out and Virat Kohli also needs to ease his standards a little bit when it comes to youngsters in terms of nurturing them and sometimes letting them go when they make mistakes,” Ambati Rayudu opined.

This wasn't the first time Ambati Rayudu had taken a dig at RCB and Virat Kohli.

Previously, he mocked the Karnataka-based franchise after their fairytale campaign in the 2024 IPL came to an end following their defeat in the eliminator.

“My heart truly goes out to all the RCB supporters who have passionately supported the team over the years. If only the management and the leaders had the teams interests ahead of individual milestones .. RCB would have won multiple titles. Just remember how many fantastic players have been let go off. Force your management to bring players who will put teams interests first. A great new chapter can start from the mega auction,” Ambati Rayudu wrote on X.

Subsequently, he took a jibe at the ex-India captain for being crowned the Orange Cap winner in the event.

On Sunday, the 35-year-old cricketer became the first Indian batter to bag the Orange Cap twice in the elite T20 competition.

For the unversed, an Orange Cap is given to a player who is the leading run-scorer in the IPL. During the 17th edition of the tournament, Virat Kohli made 741 runs in 15 matches, thus becoming the only batter to cross the 700-run barrier this year.

With this, he won the Orange Cap for the second time in the history of the IPL, having previously bagged it in 2016. In 2016, Virat Kohli struck a phenomenal 973 runs, which remains a record in the event to date.

“Congratulations to the KKR team for really standing up for stalwarts like Narine, Russell and Starc and also contribute their share in the team's win. That’s how a team wins the IPL. We have seen this over the years. It's not the Orange Cap that wins you the IPL but it is the contributions like 300 runs each (of many players),” Ambati Rayudu told the tournament's broadcasters.

Ambati Rayudu's reference was to the strong batting performance of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) with many of their batters contributing at crucial stages in the competition.

For instance, Sunil Narine, who was KKR's leading scorer in the 2024 edition of the IPL, made 488 runs in 15 matches. Other batters, who had a significant share in KKR's runs were Phil Salt (435), Venkatesh Iyer (370) and Shreyas Iyer (354).

On the other hand, RCB was over-dependent on Virat Kohli throughout the tournament.

Besides Virat Kohli, RCB skipper Faf du Plessis, Rajat Patidar, and Dinesh Karthik smashed over 300 runs for RCB in IPL 2024.

While Faf du Plessis scored 438 runs in 15 games, Rajat Patidar made 395 and Dinesh Karthik amassed 326.

Meanwhile, in his first reaction to winning the Orange Cap, Virat Kohli said that he was proud of his achievement.

“Extremely honored to win the orange cap this season. It was a rollercoaster of a ride. I was really pleased with the way I performed for the team, especially in the latter half, where we needed to win every game to qualify. Thank you everyone for your support,” Virat Kohli stated after winning the Orange Cap award.