YoYo Test Mandatory for Indian team selection
The Indian team has decided to stick with the YoYo test as a benchmark for the fitness level required for being in the playing XI. This test has been used previously as well, and has been a major cause for many players not being selected in the past year itself.
Ravi Shastri has supported this method of testing and is definitely trying to make this a prerequisite for every player wanting to be selected. Virat Kohli too is a huge supporter of fitness being a priority for each player and has set an example by being at peak fitness himself for the past couple of years. He wants players to be at peak physical levels and wants them to be the best fielding team for the upcoming world cup in 2019. The management has alluded to the fact that peak fitness allows players to be in the best position to play to their full potential and maybe even set new limits to go beyond. There have been people voicing opinions of the sort which are not favouring the YoYo test as the gold standard for fitness.
I feel that fitness should be a definite measure for being selected into the team. Just 7 to 8 years ago, we had seen a growing need for fitness in the Indian team. At that point, we saw a great leap in the fielding of the team, which was being compared with the best in the world. The consistency of players also improved and there are examples in the Indian team to show that this was the case. If you see the players who previously performed well(retired), were also relatively fit. MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli have been extremely fit throughout their careers. Virat Kohli had increased his efficiency and consistency since he had a very visible body transformation, from a chubby young kid to a fully chiseled athlete. Dhoni is not exactly the most chiseled, but he has a very strong natural physique and has kept his strengths, which is his actual raw and brute strength in this case, to be functioning at nearly 100% for most of his career. He has only missed a couple of games here and there due to a fitness problem, which is actually a huge quality he has and is a testament to his fitness.
It has been seen that improved fitness has allowed bowlers keep up their pace, which was not the case for most of the 1980s to the early 2000s. Bowlers generally started losing pace throughout their spells and the intensity was also lost due to loss in stamina. This has been improved gradually, and since their has been heavy emphasis on fitness, the new bowlers such as Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav, have been keeping their pace up throughout their spells, which has led to a more concentrated spell.
The setting of a fitness benchmark will be a very advantageous step for improving performances of players and set a culture which does not allow fitness to be overlooked as I feel it was previously.
- Shubham Anuraj, 11:31PM, 24 June, 2018