• Last updated on Thu, 21 Jun, 2018, 02:10 PM
Mohammed Shami failed to clear the yo-yo test, following which he was left out of the squad for the Afghanistan Test. © Getty
The Yo-yo test has become a mandatory exercise for players representing India and is viewed as a critical parameter to determine the players’ fitness ahead of any series, having started since Anil Kumble’s regime as the India head coach. However, it is always conducted prior to the squad announcement. This time though, the squad selection for India and India A saw players picked before the test took place, leading to wide outrage over the sequence of events.
Saba Karim, the BCCI general manager for cricket operations, cleared the confusion regarding the tests being held after team selection. Terming it as a “one-off” since the Indian Premier League (IPL) was going on, he mentioned that there was no other option than to conduct it after the India and India A teams were announced for the England tour.
“It’s (yo-yo test) always conducted before team selection. This time the change happened because of the IPL,” Karim was quoted as speaking to the The Indian Express. “We have to pick the teams early because of logistical reasons, so we couldn’t drag out players during the IPL and make them go through fitness tests. That’s why we conducted it after the IPL was over. And all the players were given enough time to prepare for that.”
Both the squads were announced during the IPL, on May 8. Mohammed Shami, who played a handful of games for Delhi Daredevils, was selected for the one-off Test against Afghanistan but was left out after failing to meet the required standards. Ambati Rayudu’s successful campaign for Chennai Super Kings earned him a recall to the ODI side for the England tour. However, that didn’t materialise as he fell short of the 16.1 parameter. Similarly, Samson missed out travelling with the India A squad after not clearing the test.
The limited-overs squad members selected for the England and Ireland tour took their respective yo-yo test last week, including Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. Only Rohit Sharma was absent as he had obtained permission from the board to appear for it later, owing to his sponsor commitments. He took to Instagram and his Twitter handle on Wednesday (June 20) to share the news of him passing the test. Earlier, there had been reports doing the rounds that the India opener had failed to clear the test on the first instance. However, he cleared the air by stating that he passed the test in the first go, conducted on Wednesday.
Previously, the likes of Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh have lost their places in the Indian team after failing to meet the requisite standards. The 17-year-old Washington Sundar too has failed the test in the past and was subsequently overlooked for the T20I series against New Zealand in October last year.
“Earlier, if you see, in the case of Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh, the fitness tests were conducted before the team selection. It always happened like that in the past,” Karim said. “This time, the moment the teams were announced, whether that was the India A side or Team India, the players knew that they had to undergo fitness tests. So they had enough time to prepare. That is why so many of them prepared well and got through.”