In the last one year or so, Yo-Yo endurance test has created a plenty of hue and cry in the Indian cricket fraternity as players such Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Ambati Rayudu among others have failed to clear this test and subsequently left out from the team.
While the majority of fans and cricket experts have supported the Indian team management and BCCI’s stance on Yo-Yo test, some of them feel it is unfair on players to get snubbed from the side due to their failure in the fitness test.
It has been learnt that for the current Indian team, 16.1 and upwards was considered as the good enough ‘Yo-Yo’ score. A player ought to clock at least 16.1 in the test to be a part of Virat Kohli led national side.
On Friday (June 22), India’s chief coach Ravi Shastri declared that the Yo-Yo test is here to stay and they are in no mood to compromise on it.
"I think it's a combination of both ability and fitness. If you are fit, you can enhance that ability. That is one thing that has been emphasized on while designing the YoYo fitness test. And it is here to stay. Whoever thinks it's a one off thing, he is sadly mistaken and that person can take a walk," Shastri said as per the quotes in TOI.
Echoing the voice of his coach, skipper Virat Kohli highlighted the significance of Yo-Yo test and how it has improved the stamina and endurance of fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah.
"People might not be able to see a small thing that happens when you play a particular Test match but I think that makes a massive difference. We are a team that wants to travel well. Jasprit Bumrah was bowling 144 kmph in his last spell during the final Test. That's when one's fitness comes in. When you have people who are fit, hungry and ready, then you are not only competing but also winning matches," Kohli remarked.
"Either you get emotional and let go (chuck) a policy or take hard calls and move ahead with the system. All those things have come together nicely and we are looking forward towards playing some real hard cricket. We are looking forward towards playing difficult cricket as that's the only way we will be able to test ourself as a team," he explained.
Recently, Ambati Rayudu was left out from India’s ODI squad for England tour after he failed to clear the Yo-Yo Test. Interestingly, Suresh Raina, who has failed in this test previously, was called in as Rayudu’s replacement as he passed the Yo-Yo hurdle with flying colours.
Before Rayudu, India speedster Mohammed Shami was omitted from the one-off Test against Afghanistan for the same reason. Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini had replaced Shami for the historic Test in Bangalore. Moreover, Sanju Samson was dropped from India A squad for the tri-series in England involving England Lions and West Indies 'A'. Samson was replaced by Ishan Kishan in the touring squad.
"The philosophy is simple. You pass the test, you play. You don't, you sit. So this is not going to go anywhere. The captain leads from the front, the selectors the management are on the same page. And the boys have responded extremely well," Shastri said.
India will play two T20Is against Ireland in Dublin on June 27 and 29 before heading off for the all-important England tour. India’s tour of England will kick off from July 3 where they will play three T20Is and as many ODIs before featuring in a five-match Test series from August 1.
Shastri is satisfied with the scheduling, which begins with the limited-overs cricket before the Tests.
"From a preparation point of view, it is ideal. The players will get to play the limited-overs leg first, first the T20Is, followed by the ODIs. By the time, the Test matches commence, almost after a month, we will have plenty of time to get used to the conditions there," the India coach asserted.
Talking about the itinerary of England tour, captain Kohli cited the example of South Africa trip earlier this year, where India had won the last Test and the subsequent limited-overs series comprehensively.
"When we were playing the Test series in South Africa after a couple of Tests, people really though that we were outplayed. But then we won the third Test, and the limited-overs leg. It was then that people understood how well we played in that series," Kohli commented.
"We as a team, knew internally that we had played well and that led to the success in the ODIs and T20s. We are one of the sides that is looking forward to going to other countries and playing, to change the trend of teams being bad travellers," he concluded.