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1.15K   //    22 Jul 2018, 21:30 IST

Virat Kohli is an epitome of fitness in Indian cricket

The life of a cricketer is never as easy it seems to the public. They have to perform under pressure in 1 or more formats, face the wrath of the media and public during failures, and most importantly deal with fitness issues.

Fitness has always been a very important aspect of any cricketer who wants to produce good results on a consistent basis, more so for modern players. A captain would most often want players who can serve as long-term options and be fit in the long run, which makes fitness an important parameter for team selection.

A popular fitness test employed in the last few years in order to test the players’ fitness is the Yo-Yo test. Many teams across the world, including India, use this test to measure and set fitness benchmarks for players to attain, in order to be eligible for national team selection.

In recent times, there has been so much discussion on this topic with Indian fans divided into 2 major sections. One which believes that the Yo-Yo test is too harsh on players and that it doesn’t take the player’s talent into consideration during team selection, and the other section which supports the decision to have fitness as a primary factor for team selection.

With lots of cricket being played these days, fitness is a mandatory aspect for the players to cope up with the demands of international and league cricket . Having said that, let us see why fitness (Yo-Yo test) should be a mandatory criterion for team selection.


The highly debated Yo-Yo test
The highly debated Yo-Yo test

The Yo-Yo test is basically a sprinting test where players have to run from one cone to another, separated by 20 meters before a beep and then return back to the first cone within the next beep. This double sprint is called a ‘shuttle’.

If the player doesn’t make it to the cone before that beep, he gets a warning and 3 of those means the end of the test. The first level would have just one shuttle, but subsequent levels would have 2, 3, 4 shuttles and so on. As the levels get tougher, the time given to complete each shuttle keeps decreasing.

From level 14 till 23 (maximum level), there are 8 shuttles per level. In between shuttles, a player gets 10 seconds to recover. The benchmark set for Indian team is 16:1, which means that the player has to complete at least the first shuttle of level 16.

This is actually lower compared to the minimum levels of 17:4, 19, 20:1 set by other countries like Pakistan, West Indies and New Zealand respectively. Having known the basic outline of the test, let us move on to justify the requirement of the test for the players.

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