As India took on Afghanistan in the only Test at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru; in a secluded part of the stadium complex, lots of press was accumulated as the National Cricket Academy (NCA) was conducting fitness Tests for players bound to England.
The National Cricket Academy (NCA) saw the likes of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking the yo-yo Test to prove their fitness for the upcoming England tour.
Yo-Yo Test parameter has become the benchmark of qualification under the Virat Kohli era and a player is required to make the 16.1 mark to become eligible for India team selection. It has been seen that players have failed to perform in the yo-yo Test and were left out of India teams, notably Mohammad Shami was dropped from the only Test against Afghanistan and Sanju Samson, one of the brightest prospects in Indian cricket, too missed the bus to England with India A team due to failing the said fitness test.
The Indian captain Virat Kohli shuttled back and forth with no noticeable signs of uneasiness. In the next net, Dhoni did the same. Kedar Jadhav, who hurt his hamstring during the first game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April, was on the other side of Kohli. Suresh Raina, who is in the ODI squad for England and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were also present for the yo-yo Test.
Before Kohli’s tenure as captain and about a decade ago, the Indian team used to undergo the Bleep Test. At that time, Andrew Leipus was the physio and Adrian le Roux the trainer, and the numbers were only a guide and no player was sidelined because he didn’t meet a certain benchmark.
However, since Kohli took over the captaincy, an extra emphasis has been given on the fitness and Kohli has led the way.
Jasprit Bumrah, Siddharth Kaul, and Washington Sundar made their way to the testing area under the eyes of Shankar Basu, as Kohli and Dhoni reached for energy drinks.
Ravi Shastri, the coach, is keen on even better fitness ahead of an arduous year that includes tours of Ireland, England and Australia before next summer’s World Cup and there are talks of raising the threshold from 16.1 to 16.3.
(With inputs from news18.com/cricketnext/)