India 'A' does away with Yo-Yo test

Despite Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri making it clear that passing the Yo-Yo test is compulsory, the India A team has done away with the fitness test.

India skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri have time and again emphasised on the importance of Yo-Yo test.   -  PTI

Even as India skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri have made it clear that passing the Yo-Yo test is compulsory to be a part of the team, it has come to the fore that the India ‘A' set-up has done away with the fitness test that has seen the Indian team turn into one of the fittest in world cricket.

Sources in the know of developments said that the test isn’t part of the system even though the India ‘A’ team is seen as the supply chain in the present set-up with Shastri and Kohli both banking on the performance of players in the team before picking the bench.

“No, the Yo-Yo isn’t a part of the ‘A’ team set-up. At least it hasn’t been in the last few months,” the source said.

When contacted, fielding coach Abhay Sharma played the diplomatic card and said that the coaching staff doesn’t interfere in the functioning of the trainers.

“See, you have to ask the trainers what and why. It isn’t our domain and we don’t interfere in their style of functioning. They prepare specific programmes which they can give you an idea about,” he said.

When asked if this wasn’t a clear case of breaking a structure that Kohli and Shastri are looking to bring in, he said: “Rather than speculating you should speak to the trainers. As I said, it is their domain.”

Efforts to get in touch with former India skipper Rahul Dravid failed as he neither replied to calls or messages.

Dravid as India ‘A’ and U-19 coach had initially done away with the test before starting it for his wards since the senior team was convinced that it is a must.

A BCCI functionary said that this raises serious concern and must be looked into immediately. “This is not a good sign. Fitness is an integral part of the Indian team’s functioning and if you stop that in the ‘A’ team, what that does is a scenario comes in where a player walks into the senior team and is caught off guard.

“The whole idea to make it clear that the ‘A’ team is a supply line to the national team was so that the boys could be mentally prepared for the transition and when they walked into the team, they didn’t feel like a fish out of water. Kohli and Shastri’s policy of emphasising on the Yo-Yo has done wonders and that is there to see with the way this team has dominated all formats in recent times,” the functionary said.

“It needs to be checked as to who stopped the process and why because the whole effort from Kohli and Shastri then goes in vain.”

Shastri on his part has time and again made it clear that the Yo-Yo is here to stay. “When we mentioned the Yo-Yo test, people laughed that it was criteria for selection. What they missed was that was a very important part of the selection. You have to first clear that criterion and then, of course, you have batting, bowling and fielding skills to talk to be selected. But you have to pass that test as a benchmark,” he had said.

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