Delhi | Jun 22, 2018, 17:09 IST
NEW DELHI: There has been huge hype surrounding the YoYo test, a mandatory parameter set by the Indian team management for a place in the national team. The recent instances of players failing fitness tests and being subsequently left out of the national squad has only proved how significant the entire phenomena is for the BCCI, something that Ravi Shastri, coach of the Indian cricket team, confirmed on Friday.
A day before the Indian cricket team leaves for a two-month long tour of England, Shastri, a strong supporter of the fitness test, announced that the YoYo Test was not something that is to be compromised on and that the practice is indeed the way forward for Indian cricket.
“I think it’s a combination of both ability and fitness. If you are fit, you can enhance that ability. That is one thing that has been emphasized on while designing the YoYo fitness test. And it is here to stay. Whoever thinks it’s a one off thing, he is sadly mistaken and that person can take a walk,” Shastri said, while addressing the media.
The benchmark of the fitness test is set at a minimum 16.1 by the management. However, it ranks very low in comparison to other playing nations in world cricket such as England and New Zealand, who have set the bar at 19. According to reports, the management wants to raise the YoYo bar from 16.1 to 16.3, a decision that came from none other than Shastri himself.
Mohammed Shami was left out of the side and three days prior to that, Sanju Samson was dropped from the India A team. The biggest surprise exclusion was that Ambati Rayudu, who failed to attain the required parameters. It is learnt that Rayudu, who had a major role in Chennai Super Kings’ victorious IPL campaign scoring over 600 runs in the edition, performed well below-par in the range of 14. Incidentally, Raina, who was one of the first players last year to have flunked the YoYo test (along with Yuvraj Sigh), also cleared it comfortably this time round.
“The philosophy is simple. You pass the test, you play. You don’t, you sit. So this is not going to go anywhere. The captain leads from the front, the selectors the management are on the same page. And the boys have responded extremely well,” added Shastri.
Playing limited-overs before Tests helpful
India’s tour of England will feature the No. 1 ranked Test-team playing Tests, three ODIs and three T20 internationals. For the first time since the 2002 tour, the Indian team will be playing white-ball cricket before Test matches in England, beginning with a couple of T20Is against Ireland on Wednesday.
“From a preparation point of view, it is ideal. The players will get to play the limited-overs leg first, first the T20Is, followed by the ODIs. By the time, the Test matches commence, almost after a month, we will have plenty of time to get used to the conditions there,” Shastri said.
‘We want to change the trend of teams being bad travellers’
Indian captain Kohli mentioned that the team is taking the confidence of winning the third Test and South Africa and subsequently the ODIs and T20Is and plan on carrying the same mindset forward in England. Kohli chipped in on the debate of international teams not being great travellers anymore, with almost all teams often struggling to adapt to conditions abroad.
“When we were playing the Test series in South Africa after a couple of Tests, people really though that we were outplayed. But then we won the third Test, and the limited-overs leg. It was then that people understood how well we played in that series,” the Indian captain said.
“We as a team, knew internally that we had played well and that led to the success in the ODIs and T20s. We are one of the sides that is looking forward to going to other countries and playing, to change the trend of teams being bad travellers.”
Shastri also weighed in on the topic, pointing out that for the team, it is more about playing the surfaces as compared to their opponents.
“Every series is important and for us there is no away game; every game is a home game because we don’t play the opponent. We play the pitch. Our job is to conquer pitches, wherever you go – Mumbai, Delhi or London. It is those 22 yards that we have to try and conquer. Like every touring side, we have to adapt to conditions too. It’s not a question of where you’re playing,” he said.