Yuvraj Singh, after his latest comeback, has been fairly decent with the bat for India, even turning the clock back a couple of times with some trademark Yuvraj innings. So, it was a bit of a surprise – not the world has stopped turning kind, but a surprise, still – when the selectors decided to drop the veteran for the ODI series against Sri Lanka.
MSK Prasad, the chairman of selectors, said the plan was to give as many players as possible an opportunity before honing in on the core for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
However, there was also plenty of mention about fitness and how that would be vital for any player to get back/stay in the India squad.
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And as it turns out, the reason behind Yuvraj and Suresh Raina, who was tipped by some to make his own comeback to the India cricket team, failing to book their tickets to Sri Lanka is that lack of fitness.
According to a report by PTI, both Yuvraj and Raina, who has looked like a shadow's shadow of the player he used to be in recent times, failed the Yo-Yo test, given to the players to test their fitness and endurance.
Considering the captain of Team India Virat Kohli is pretty much the fittest in the side, there are high expectations for the rest of the squad, and that is where Yuvraj and Raina fell short.
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Keeping Raina out of the side, even when fit, makes a lot more sense, and while Father Time has slowly but surely crept into Yuvraj Singh's career, there were signs in recent series of the left-hander finding his mojo.
However, a lack of fitness cannot be overlooked, not matter how good you might be with the bat. And with so many talented batsmen waiting in the wings for an opportunity – talented and super fit – Yuvraj was always going to find it difficult to justify his place in the side if he failed to reach the fitness standards expected of him.
The report says, Yuvraj fell well short of the minimum score of 19.5 expected from these Yo-Yo tests, with the 35-year-old only managing 16.
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This is where Raina and Yuvraj can take a leaf out of MS Dhoni's book. The former India captain might be getting along in the years column, but as far as fitness goes, he still remains one of the fittest in the side.
With India playing quite a few more limited-overs matches in the coming months, maybe Yuvraj can get back to the fitness levels expected of him to try and force his way back into the side. If not, it might just be the end of a long, glorious career.
How the Yo-Yo test works