YO-YO TEST-A COERCION IN INDIAN CRICKET

Nowadays, Yo-Yo test is reverberating in the ears of everyone.The Yo-Yo Intermittent Endurance Test popularly known as the Yo-Yo test is a fitness benchmark which is required on compulsion basis for getting selected in the Indian cricket team. Henceforth, one can debate the fact that on coercing this test, are we compromising on the cricketing skills of any player?

If we take the illustration of the recently concluded Yo-Yo test for the upcoming UK tour, Ambati Rayudu was ruled out from the squad because of not clearing the test. Now he was selected on the back of some brilliant performances in IPL-2018 and he was considered as a very good prospect to fill India’s number 4 void. Another example is of Sanju Samson who was not selected for the A tour to England because of not passing the Yo-Yo test. We all will be on the same page when discussing the talent of Sanju Samson. These incidents lead to the fact that fitness is paramount at this point in time when it boils down to play for the country. Is this attitude of the Indian team management legitimate? There are two perspectives to this question:-

We all have to agree upon the fact that fitness plays a very crucial role when it comes to playing any sport. In today’s day and age, the future tour programming(FTP) is designed in such a manner that a cricketer is engaged in playing non-stop cricket. Taking the recent example, The Indians were on a long tour to South Africa in January-February. After returning from that draining tour, they were off to Sri Lanka playing for the Nidahas Trophy in March. After its conclusion, IPL was on the doorsteps. So you really need that cushion of fitness. My simple point is that having the endowment and skill is one part and being able to execute your skill for the longer duration of time is another part. You need physical endurance to execute your skills.     I always associate these statements with Indian Skipper Virat Kohli. He is supremely consistent just because he is extremely fit. You can score a century on one day and showcase your talent but to make it a “won’t” just like Virat, you are bound to be consummate with your fitness. If we consider the pace bowling aspect of cricket, India’s pace battery is one of the finest of all time having the likes of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah leading from the front. When you watch Bumrah firing at 145+ mph on the fifth day of a test match, you can estimate his fitness. Playing all three formats nowadays is entirely a dependent function of fitness.

Another perspective of the above-mentioned question is to be lenient considering the caliber of certain players. I know you will be skeptical about reading this statement but it is just a point of view. For instance, just consider a situation such that India’s prime opening batsman has failed in the Yo-Yo test but he is a very vital member of the team looking at the team dynamics. He also has some very good performances on his back. Now will you leave him just on the basis of Yo-Yo test or you will take into account his assets which are required in the team.

Well, I can tell with certainty that our team management is not at all interested in doing so which I think is the correct approach because rules should not be bent for certain players looking at their reputation and certainly it sends a wrong signal to the whole cricketing fraternity.

It is very worthy to note that the speed level in the test which is the threshold of selection in the Indian team is 16.1 which is not so critical when we compare it with the other teams. Pakistan has the criteria of 17.4, Australia has 18, West Indies has 19 and New Zealand is 20.

To sum it up, I reckon Indian cricket is on the right track when it comes to coercing Yo-Yo test looking at its dividends. Also, the present day schedule of any cricketer demands serious physical fitness. Hence for any young kid aspiring to represent his/her country, he must be endeavoring to climb the mountain of fitness.

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