Yo-Yo test is just one part of a fitness drill, says former India trainer

Former India trainer Ramji Srinivasan calls for transparency in the endurance test and admits he is baffled at the cut-off margin.

The Yo-Yo test, perhaps, is not as imperative how the CoA and the BCCI have perceived it to be. (Representational Image)   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

The Yo-Yo test, conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India  to assess fitness levels of players — now ahead of every tournament — turned a few heads last week, with Ambati Rayudu, Sanju Samson and Mohammed Shami failing to meet the cut-off score of 16.1.

Rayudu’s case has raised questions on the authenticity of the examination as his recent performances — 602 runs at an average of 43.00 in the Indian Premier League for Chennai Super Kings — and the Yo-Yo review is sort of a discord.

How essential is a Yo-Yo test for a cricketer to perform at the highest level? It is, perhaps, not as imperative how the Committee of Administrators and the BCCI have perceived it to be.

READ: Rohit likely to take Yo-Yo test on Wednesday, Rahane kept on stand by

“Yo-Yo is just a part of fitness drills, and it is basically for soccer. I don’t know how you can judge an athlete by just one aspect of fitness. It is like passing an entire semester by clearing only one subject. If you pass in English, you also have to clear Science and Mathematics,” former India trainer Ramji Srinivasan told Sportstar on Tuesday.

Having trained in Australia, Srinivasan also contributed to the fitness culture in the Tamil Nadu cricket team and the CSK. He monitored the players in a two-week camp before the IPL and as a result, Rayudu’s axe on Yo-Yo grounds surprised him.

“Rayudu covers the ground very quickly. Cricket is not rocket science. It is one of the easiest sports to train physiologically. The psychological aspect is more demanding. He is a fighter and he will be back,” said Srinivasan, adding, “I don’t know what to say about Sanju as well. Shami’s case is still understandable as he had a niggle and he went through a lot on the personal front, which hampers training.”

ALSO READ: Samson, Shami, Rayudu were told about Yo-Yo test in May

Need for transparency

The experienced trainer called for transparency in the system. He also stated how external factors can determine the Yo-Yo result. “Sprint is easy, so is agility and speed, but it has to be standardised. The indoor-outdoor temperature and the time of the drill (morning or noon) are crucial. I am not sure how well it is being documented. If the BCCI wants to be open about it, they should telecast on television, with all the players lined up. That will shut everyone up,” he said.

He also felt pre-recorded testing is needed to ensure a fair assessment. “I don’t know whether the readings are being monitored. It will help a player take video reference on the test.”

Srinivasan also raised eyebrows on the cut-off margin. “I don’t know how they arrived at 16.1, it looks like a secret. If the Australians touch 19, we are the lowest. It is not something to be talked about.”

ALSO READ: Kohli clears Yo-Yo test, rough going for Rayudu

Second chance

He urged the players to appeal for a second chance. “If you can appeal for a life-threatening disease in a hospital or take a second opinion from a doctor, why can’t a player know where he is going wrong? If you have to compare Indian cricketers with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Roger Federer, you need to consider all parameters and not just one,” added Srinivasan, who stressed more on hand-eye coordination, reflex, agility and speed.

“Developing explosive power is necessary and you need speed. You can’t run behind the ball till the boundary line,” he advised.

Is cricket possible without Yo-Yo? “Of course, it is. It is a skill-based game. What is possible by a batsman may not be possible for a fast bowler, who runs at least 10 kms during a match. In India, people have a myopic vision. They need to be realistic."

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