Former Indian great Kapil Dev has come out and expressed that the Yo-Yo test shouldn't be the sole criteria for selection of players in the Indian Team. The test that is making fitness non-negotiable in Indian Cricket, ran into controversy when Ambati Rayudu was dropped from the ODI squad, he was originally picked for to England. Purely because Rayudu failed to attain the passing number at the end of the Yo-Yo test at the National Cricket Academy(NCA) at Bangalore.
It sparked a debate about the right timing of when the test should be taking place and also, whether there should there be some leniency towards in-form players. All these thoughts were rubbished by the head coach Ravi Shastri before departing to England. Shastri is adamant that players must pass the Yo-Yo test to be considered for selection in the Indian team.
Kapil Dev though has a different take. He believes that the match fitness is more important than anything else. He was recently quoted saying, "If a player is match fit, he should be playing and there should not be any other criteria. Even football legend Diego Maradona wasn't the fastest runner but whenever he had the ball, he was the fastest. Similarly, every cricketer has a different way of responding to fitness drill. A bowler can perhaps clear the Yo-Yo test easily than a batsman. But this isn't the ultimate test to judge a player. It comes down to your performances on the field and cricketers should be judged only on the basis of their on-field performances,"
Basically, Kapil has voiced the concern that an in-form player like Rayudu shouldn't be losing out on a place that he deserves just because he couldn't excel the Yo-Yo test.
He gave a cricketing example from the past and further said, "Sunil Gavaskar may not have enjoyed running more than 15 minutes as a part of his fitness drill but he could bat for three days. Even the likes of Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly may or may not have cleared this version of the Yo-Yo test but they turned out to be some of the best players India has produced,"
(Inputs from TOI)