In the last one year or so, Yo-Yo fitness test has created a plenty of hue and cry in the Indian cricket fraternity with players such as Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Shami, Ambati Rayudu among others failing in it and subsequently getting axed from the team.
Following the footsteps of the national team, many state teams have also made the Yo-Yo test mandatory for all its players across age groups. And its outcome is pretty much showing in the fitness standards and overall performances of young players in the domestic circuit.
Such has been in the influence of physical fitness that Tamil Nadu batsman Arun Karthick recently scored higher than India skipper Virat Kohli in the Yo-Yo endurance test.
Karthick, who played an instrumental role in Madurai Panthers’ TNPL 2018 triumph on Sunday (August 12), in an exclusive interview with Sportstar, revealed that he had cleared the Yo-Yo test with a score of 19.2 last month.
“I had passed the Yo-Yo test a month back with a score of 19.2. You need to be in a very good shape in these tournaments,” Arun Karthick said while highlighting the importance of fitness to play in the T20 leagues.
It is pertinent to mention here that Kohli had passed the Yo-Yo fitness test with a score of 19 ahead of the England tour.
There is a saying that T20 matches are for the youngsters. But the 32-year-old Karthick proved them all wrong.
“In T20 you have to be very fit. But that is not all. You also have to have enough experience and a better understanding of tough situations which would help you keep your calm. Just being a youngster would not help,” he asserted.
Karthick finished the TNPL 2018 as the leading run-scorer with most number of sixes, most half-centuries and maximum average. He was deservedly adjudged ‘Player of the Tournament’.
“It felt good and I did not expect all of these. Throughout the season, I had the hunger and desire to do well. I just wanted to contribute to the team. All other achievements are secondary,” Arun said.
Karthick, who boasts the experience of 67 first-class games and 54 List A matches, has also played in the Indian Premier League for Chennai Super Kings (2008-2010) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (2011). His last-ball six against the South Australia Redbacks to help RCB qualify for the Champions League semi-final in 2011 is still etched in the memory of cricket fans.
“Playing in the IPL helped me evolve both as a cricketer and as a person. But once you are out of the IPL, that is the period when you tend to learn a lot of things,” he stated.
Arun Karthick made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in 2008. Six years later he moved to Assam and then opted to play for Kerala last year.
“I played as an opener for Tamil Nadu when guys like Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund were playing. So then even if you would have got a century you would have to sit on the bench. There was one season when I did not get to play a single game. I spoke to some of my seniors who suggested me the switch,” he revealed.
Karthick concluded by talking about his goals in the near future.
“My main focus would be a couple of league games that are round the corner. Also the Vijay Hazare Trophy games are coming up. The domestic season has all my focus,” he concluded.