Besides batting and bowling skills, one of the most-important pre-requisites of modern-day cricketers is fitness. With the ever growing demands of world cricket, and the rise of T20 cricket for the last couple of years, there is very little room for unfit players, and teams are taking such things very seriously.
Only a few days ago, chief selector of India, MSK Prasad had also stressed on the importance of fitness for the Indian players.
It was also revealed recently that Yuvraj Singh was left out of the ODI squad for Sri Lanka as he failed his fitness test, known as 'Yo-Yo' endurance test. The process is said to be software-based.
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What does this 'Yo-Yo' endurance test exactly mean?
It does not involve any cricket balls or bat, but it is a sheer test of a player's fitness, where an object, primarily cones, are placed on the field, consisting of two lines normally 20m apart. The cricketer has to run along the two set lines as soon as he is instructed. He will have to return after he hears a beep.
That may not sound too tough in the initial phase, but that is just the start of the endurance test as the pace picks up after a few minutes, making it more difficult. But, there is no holding back for the player, who has to get in terms with it, and double his pace too as the test moves ahead.
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In case, the player fails to catch up with the pace of the test, he needs to somehow gather extra pace and catch within the next two beeps. If the players fails to catch up with pace in the next two ends, the test also comes to an end, reported Press Trust of India.
It is this test, which is being used by the India cricket team. India captain Virat Kohli seems to be the best in this field as well, as his Yo-Yo score reads 21 while the pass mark is 19.5 and above. Yuvraj was way below the mark, with Yo-Yo score of 16 only.
Surely, this has to be a positive step for India cricket. Gone are the days when fitness was never an issue for a player if one had the skills to bat and bowl. Such fitness levels will only help in India becoming a strong fielding side with agile and superbly fit players in the team.