'Virat Kohli should lower his standard': Rayudu roasted by Pietersen, Mayanti Langer on live TV for RCB 'burden' remark | Crickit
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'Virat Kohli should lower his standard': Rayudu roasted by Pietersen, Mayanti Langer on live TV for RCB 'burden' remark

May 28, 2024 07:26 AM IST

Ambati Rayudu came up with yet another controversial statement regarding RCB and Virat Kohli.

Ambati Rayudu seems to have triggered yet another controversy on the evening of the IPL 2024 final when he said that Virat Kohli's raging form for Royal Challengers Bengaluru is becoming a 'burden' for his teammates. Rayudu, who has constantly taken jibes at RCB following their exit from the tournament following a five-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals through either X or Instagram stories, in a bizarre analysis, now reckons Kohli's consistency is not helping, but putting pressure on the likes of Rajat Patidar, whereas, in reality, it has brought out the best in him.

Ambati Rayudu with another controversial take on RCB(Screengrab)
Ambati Rayudu with another controversial take on RCB(Screengrab)

Rayudu, who is part of Star Sports' experts panel, was part of the show along with renowned ex-cricketers Kevin Pietersen and Matthew Hayden, along with sports presenter Mayanti Langer. As Rayudu went along with his stance, his thoughts were contradicted by Pietersen and Mayanti, but the former India batter remained firm, explaining the rationale behind this thinking.

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Rayudu: When you have a stalwart and a legend like Virat Kohli, who has set really high standards, it's very hard for the youngsters to be in a side like that and try and match that standard because he always wants the team to be performing at his level.

Pietersen: No, it should be good for youngsters…

Rayudu: But sometimes the burden of really trying to be Virat Kohli in a sport where you know nobody is going to be like him.

Mayanti Langer: But didn't Patidar step up to the plate?

Rayudu carried on. "Patidar can only be a Patidar but not a Virat Kohli, and I think RCB, as management, understands that you cannot have 11 Virat Kohli in the team. You need to have 1 Virat Kohli with 10 others being themselves, having their own identities and strengths and weaknesses. And you need to use them well in terms of resources.

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"You can't expect somebody to win the game in the first season. You need to give him that leeway and time to grow into a match-winner. So I think the management has its task out, and even Virat Kohli needs to ease and lower his standards a bit when it comes to youngsters, nurturing them, and letting them go."

Matthew Hayden enlightens

This isn't the first time Rayudu has expressed dissatisfaction with RCB or taken a jibe at them. He most recently tweeted that the franchise prefers individuals more than the team and even mentioned that 'Orange Cap alone can't win you the IPL', fetching him severe backlash on social media. As swords continue to be drawn towards him, the only semblance of support he received was from Matthew Hayden, who senses the sense and the positive side of what Rayudu was trying to say.

"Honestly, I'm glad that you clarified that because I have played under some unbelievable leaders and captains. Allan Border was an incredible, hard task-master. He was the hardest, never asked you to do anything he wouldn't do himself. But he never asked you to be Allan Border. Steve Waugh wanted to win every competition. He 100 percent wanted to win. It was easy playing under these guys," Hayden said.

Come to think of it, Rayudu's repeated criticism comes across a tad harsh given the odds RCB defied to reach the IPL Playoffs. From winning just one game out of their first six, RCB looked down and out, set to give competition to Mumbai Indians for the wooden spoon, but from the abyss, led by Faf du Plessis and inspired by Orange Cap winner Kohli, RCB won their next 6 games on the bounce – including knocking Chennai Super Kings out – to secure a place in the final four.

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