India’s junior cricket team management and coach Rahul Dravid are reportedly against Indian cricket board’s plans of extending the Yo-Yo Test to the U-19 team. The fitness test is mandatory for the senior players and has kept players like Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina out of the national team.
It was last month before the start of the New Zealand series that the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) had decided that all players contending for the senior team selection would take part in the Yo-Yo test. And if reports are to be believed, the board now wants to implement the hurdle in the junior team as well.
However, the junior team’s management and coach Rahul Dravid have reportedly had reservations about it, who believes fitness comes secondary to quality and skills, which has prevented the test from being mandatory
A source at the National Cricket Academy, Bangalore told The Indian Express, “The Indian team trainer had thrown the idea of having Yo-Yo test for India under-19 team but Dravid made it clear that it should not be needed for junior cricket.”
“At this age, players should improve their skills. Fitness is important but if he can score runs and take wickets, that should be the parameter of selecting a player.”
The mandatory test requires players to pace themselves methodically — starting with a simple jog to the eventual gut-busting sprint — as they move back and forth between two rows of cones kept 20 meters apart. Each run needs to be timed with the three beeps played in the background. These are the signals for start, turn and finish.
With the timing between the beeps constantly decreasing, each subsequent 40m circuit requires more speed. Getting beaten twice by the beep means the end of the test. The final score is determined by the laps completed and the speed gathered.
Announcing the test, Rahul Johri, the BCCI CEO, had told this newspaper, “The captain, coach and chief selector, along with the other members of the selection committee in consultation with the support staff (trainer and physio),
Among the star senior players who reportedly failed the hurdle were Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh. Interestingly though it also hints that 38-year-old Ashish Nehra, who played his last game against New Zealand in Delhi, had passed the test.
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