Sandeep Patil, former Indian chief selector, has lashed out on Thursday (21 June) at the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) and Management for their “absurd” take on the national players regarding the Yo-Yo Test.
Patil, who led the selection panel from 2012 to 2016, further said that it is unfair to play with the future of the country’s talented cricketers by dropping them only because they failed to pass the Yo-Yo Test, especially new 16.1 fitness score after their selection for the England tour initially.
However, Patil admitted that fitness is an essential part of the game but that really doesn’t mean a players’ form should be tested by such tests, saying it disturbs the momentum of the team and player.
His comment came after Ambati Rayudu, who was among the Top four run-getters in the Indian Premier League 2018, Mohammad Shami and Sanju Samson were dropped out from national squad after failing to cross the new benchmark 16.1 of Yo-Yo Test at NCA last week.
Patil told Mid-Day on Wednesday (20 June), “I have been part of the National Cricket Academy as director where there were all kinds of tests conducted on players and I realize how important the fitness aspect is. But I find it very absurd that a player is dropped for failing the Yo-Yo Test after he has been picked in the squad. In this way, you are disturbing the balance of the team; you are playing with the career of a cricketer.”
He further went on to ask how a player can be unfit despite playing in the toughest T20 competition IPL 2018 without any injury, “The toughest competition is T20 cricket and throughout the tournament [IPL] the players have not suffered any problems suddenly, they are out. What I also find absurd and wrong is that the trainer will decide on these matters. Has the trainer become a selector?”
Recalling his days as Chairman of the panel which has now been taken by MSK Prasad since 2016, Patil said, “Before every selection meeting, I used to speak to the captain, then the coach on fitness issues. That chat was followed by a discussion with my colleagues before reverting to the captain. Before each selection meeting, every selector was given a list of players who were available, fit and unfit.”
He further went on to explain the process, “The selection meeting used to take place after that. 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 percent fit and there are times when you have to take chances with niggles. We certainly did.” Sandeep Patil noted.
Former Indian cricketer also believes that players like Rayudu and Shami, who suffered personal trauma recently, should be given another chance as their talent could not be counted by this Fitness Test.
Patil signed off by saying, “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 [personal turbulence] 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.”