Harbhajan and Azharuddin express doubts over the Yo-Yo Test

The noble idea ran into controversy recently when Ambati Rayudu was dropped from the ODI side for failing the Yo-Yo test.

Harbhajan Singh (AFP)

Former India cricketers Mohammed Azharuddin and Aakash Chopra and veteran cricketer Harbhajan Singh have raised serious doubts about the Yo-Yo test, as the noble idea continues to find its doubters around Indian Cricket for it increasingly becoming very important criteria of selection into the senior team. 

The Yo-Yo test ran into controversy and debates recently when Ambati Rayudu was dropped from the ODI squad to England after being originally picked for it, purely because he failed to attain success in the fitness test conducted at the National Cricket Academy. 

To add fuel to the talks, before departing for the tour of England, head coach Ravi Shastri telling expressed, "You pass you play, you fail..you sail" regarding the how important the players passing the Yo-Yo test is to the Indian team management.

Speaking at the Sports Tak show on India Today, Aakash Chopra said,  "If Virat Kohli fails the test, will you drop him? So if a player does not even get time it is weird. To Kohli, you will even give him 2 weeks because you want him to play. So if a player is not afforded time, it is unfortunate"

"But I think Saba Karim (Cricket operations manager) has said that this is the only time when the selection happened before the test. So I think there will be some parity there," 

To which Harbhajan Singh added, "There is this new drama of Yo-Yo test, which for me does not exist in cricket. This is for footballers and hockey players because in this test, you can run forward once and then run back, which never happens in cricket. And because of this test a very in-form batsman like Ambati Rayudu could not make his place in the Indian team"

"I don't feel Yo-Yo test is the parameter of selection and it should not be. Your form, your skills, that should be the most important thing and there should be fitness criteria that the whole team can do together,"

Azharuddin has questioned the lack of flexibility to fit in in form and quality players like Rayudu by giving an example of some of the past cricketers. He said, "It's true that there has to be a fitness level but there are some players who cannot do a lot of fitness exercises because their bodies don't allow it. For example, I was quite fit but if I was asked to touch my toes, I could not do that. But when the ball came, I used to field better than most"

"If you tell Sunny bhai (Sunil Gavaskar) to do Yo-Yo test, he just won't be able to do it. Many of our master players cannot do it. So for some players, match fitness should be kept in mind because the fitness of each player is different. I feel it gets embarrassing for players. They should be told before that you have failed in the yo-yo test and you will not be selected. That will be fine but the players' ability should also be looked at"

"If you have set a fitness parameter like the coach (Ravi Shastri) is saying, the coach could have never passed that yo-yo test. There should be more thought given to this fitness test,"


By Kashish Chadha - 02 Jul, 2018

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