There has been a huge hype surrounding the Yo-Yo endurance test – a mandatory parameter set by the Indian team management for a place in the national side.
The recent instances of players failing the test and subsequently getting snubbed from the team have only proved how serious the Indian team management and BCCI are about fitness.
While the majority of fans and cricket experts have supported the Indian team management and BCCI’s stance on fitness, some of them including the creator of Yo-Yo test – Dr. Jens Bangsbo – reckon it is unfair on players to get dropped from the side on the basis of just one 'single test'.
“The question here is clear – you cannot select players based on a single test. A single test cannot determine the exact performance in a game,” Bangsbo said in an exclusive interview with Sportstar.
Bangsbo’s long association with football helped him come up with the Yo-Yo test. “The tests were developed in the early 1991, as I felt that the sports with intermittent exercise patterns were lacking appropriate tests,” he added.
It has been learned 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.
When asked about the ideal parameters to clear the test, Bangsbo said: “The performance is assessed as the distance covered in the test. Between each shuttle, there is a 5- or 10-second rest period and the participant finishes the test when he or she twice has not been able to complete the shuttle within the given time (as the speed progressively increases). A sub-maximal where the participant runs for five minutes and the heart rate is measured is also a very useful test to see the development.”
However, Dr. Jens made it clear that no twisting can be done to the parameters. “The tests are applicable for most sports with intermittent exercise. There are benchmark values for a number of sports,” Bangsbo concluded.
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 while addressing the media.
Echoing the views 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," the Indian captain added.
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 this test previously, was called in as Rayudu’s replacement as he passed the Yo-Yo hurdle with flying colors.
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 has 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.