The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) has been continuously receiving heavy criticism from everyone since increasing the benchmark for Fitness Test (Yo-Yo Test) in the national team to 16.1 for the players to get selected to play at international level in the recent times.
This decision by the BCCI has raised many eyebrows in the country, as many asked the Indian Cricket Team Management whether this benchmark (16.1) is ideal to assess the fitness of the players or how can they affirm a player who passed the Yo-Yo Test will perform well at the highest level.
Former Indian team physio John Gloster has opposed against BCCI's decision to increase the score of the mandatory Yo-Yo Test and make it compulsory to cross the line, saying he is not too sure about the fitness score of 16.1 as the ultimate parameter to assess fitness.
He further said this test is done only to know the durability factor and if a player fails to cross the line it really doesn't mean he is unfit, saying it’s an injustice to the talented players in the country.
Gloster told Sportstar, “Yo-Yo test could be of help in the T20s, but is it a definitive test for all formats of the game? I am not too sure. The time trial is an easier process and it is easy to run there. You don’t need much equipment.”
Recently, Ambati Rayudu, Sanju Samson and Mohammed Shami dropped out from the Indian squad and India A respectively after failing to clear the new cut-off score of 16.1 and Gloster expressed his surprise over their exclusion from the squad. He added, “The reason to have such tests is to know the durability factor. But then, what about the benchmark? Is Sanju Samson unfit? No. He took some fantastic catches during the IPL, which would not have been possible had he been unfit.”
Former Indian physio further went on to explain, “The game is becoming skill-based and it is important that one has the ability to execute. It is a must to build fatigue resistant athletes, and that’s justified. But the argument is, is 16.1 the ideal cut-off point? That’s the grey area. The benchmark is whether they genuinely attempt to improve based on a threshold. Whatever the individual threshold is, every time you test them, they improve that. International cricket has to be underpinned by fitness but what is a definitive marker of fitness remains the grey spot.”
Gloster signed off by saying, “There needs to be flexibility. There could be off-days for any player, so it is important that they are given another chance. We need a debate on this topic. One of the best outcomes of this whole issue is that there is now a constructive open debate about fitness in cricket. This is healthy and required. Let’s bring science to the fore.”