Yo-Yo test has been the talk of the town for the last couple of weeks now. Just as the news of Ambati Rayudu, Sanju Samson and Mohammed Shami's failure to clear the yardstick was settling down, murmurs started about the continuous delay of star India opener Rohit Sharma's test.
Rohit, who has been named in the T20I and ODI squad for UK tour, didn't give his Yo-Yo test with the rest of a team as he had sponsor commitments and travelled to USA and Russia for the same. While, he had taken prior permission from the BCCI, his test was constantly being postponed. Eventually, the Indian opener cleared it and had a message for all the reports which suggested that he had failed the test.
"Dear... it’s no ones business how & where I spend my time.I’m entitled to have time off as long as I follow protocol.Let’s debate some real news shall we & to a few channels, I had just 1 chance to clear my Yo-Yo that was today. Verification before reporting is always a good idea," a visibly upset Rohit tweeted shortly after passing the test.
Dear... it’s no ones business how & where I spend my time.I’m entitled to have time off as long as I follow protocol.Let’s debate some real news shall we😊 & to a few channels,I had just 1 chance to clear my yo-yo that was today.Verification before reporting is always a good idea
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) June 20, 2018
This post highlights how important the Yo-Yo test has become in Indian cricket. While it was mandatory for the senior team, India A and U-19 coach Rahul Dravid had kept it at bay for some time but even his wards had to undergo it shortly before departing for UK. All but Samson, who has been heavily praised by Dravid since his early days, failed to clear it.
This fuss over the Yo-Yo test has not only annoyed BCCI but also a few former players, including former chief selector Sandeep Patil.
“No one is saying that there should not be a standard of fitness that the professional cricketers should strive to attain. The issue here is the method in which this appears to have been implemented. No one knows who decided this and in which committee and the basis for such a decision," a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying to CricketNext.
In fact, Ramji Srinivasan, former India trainer, said that Yo-Yo test isn't the ideal way to check the fitness of players. He suggested that the 2 or 2.4km run should be the way that cricketers should follow. Srinivasan was also surprised after he learnt that Rayudu had not cleared the test as he had monitored the Chennai Super Kings' players in a two-week camp before the IPL.
“I would suggest the 2km or 2.4km run to check the fitness standards of cricketers. The Yo-Yo test is more suited to aerobic sports like football and that is how it started. Also, fitness is a wide spectrum and it is important to keep a comprehensive approach to overall fitness and not just on endurance level. I am a bit surprised as Rayudu is very quick across the ground," he told CricketNext.
“Overall tabulation is very important to look into the various factors like strength, power, agility, endurance, flexibility etc. Cricket is more about skills and the mind and that is no rocket science. There should be a grading system depending on the format that you are looking to select a player for. Also, the cut-off marks should be different for the different age groups. You can have 5 categories with 10 points for each. So, at the end of completion of all the five test, you can hand the player his overall grade,” he added.
Patil is of the same opinion and revealed that fitness was always considered while selecting a squad during his regime as selector (2012-2016) but also mentioned that it was not mandatory to be '100 percent fit'.
"There was no interference from the Board, captain or coach and the final decision on whether to select a player was left to the selectors alone. I must stress that no one can be 100 per cent fit and there are times when you have to take chances with niggles. We certainly did," the former India batsman told Mid-Day.
Patil also highlighted the importance of being in the right mental state.
"Who knows, the player may not be in the right mental state while undergoing the test. For example, Mohammed Shami. Now, he has been through so much of late and if he is made to undergo the test when his mind is disturbed, it's not fair. He should get another chance."
The Yo-Yo tests might have created a sense of fear in players but BCCI are taking measures to avoid embarrassing late withdrawals. In a recently concluded meeting, the Indian board has decided to conduct the tests before picking national squad.