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Sunil Gavaskar Makes A Controversial Statement On The Yo-Yo Test

Sunil Gavaskar Makes A Controversial Statement On The Yo-Yo Test

Indian batting legend and former captain Sunil Gavaskar criticized the decision of the Board of Control for Cricket in India to reintroduce the Yo-Yo fitness test as a parameter for selection as he feels the method has its fallacies.

For the unversed, recently, the Indian board -- BCCI made Yo-Yo and DEXA tests mandatory for Team selection after its board meeting a few days earlier. The Indian board wants to tweak things following India's debacle in the T20 World Cup 2022 in November 2022. 

Well, the Yo-Yo Test isn't a new thing for the Indian cricket team as it was first brought in ahead of the 2019 World Cup during the Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri era. Former India team’s strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu introduced this test to the side in 2017. Initially, the Yo-Yo Test wasn't well received by the players as many players had failed to clear the Yo-Yo Test at different times. However, once the result of the Yo-Yo Test was visible on the field, especially with regard to agility and movement, the BCCI increased the desired Yo-Yo Test score from 16.1 to 17.

But following COVID-19, keeping the new protocols in place, the team opted for a 2km run  (under 7.30 mins) test which was used as a fitness parameter. Now with several key players getting injured frequently despite being rested adequately, the BCCI has gone back to the Yo-Yo Tests.

Virat Kohli Looks Comfortable During Yo-Yo Test at NCA; MS Dhoni Joins  Skipper

However, the Yo-Yo Test return didn’t please Gavaskar. Writing for Mid Day, Gavaskar said that fitness is an individual thing with no one size fitting all. He stressed that it can be rough when fitness parameters are set collectively rather than individually. He wrote:

"The point am trying to make is fitness is an individual thing and there is no such thing as one size fits all. The quick bowlers need a different level than the spinners, the wicket keepers need an even higher level and the batters perhaps the least. So it’s rough when the parameters are set for everybody and not according to one’s specialty,” he wrote in Mid-Day.

He added: “Cricket fitness should be the prime consideration. And yes, it would be revealing if these fitness tests are done in the public domain with the media present for then we would know if a player is ‘yo yo’ or no no". 

Further, Sunil Gavaskar added that BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee, who picked the new set of selectors recently, didn't interview the candidates based on their biomechanics and body science expertise as the fitness of a player has been given so much importance. He wrote:

“The CAC has just interviewed candidates for the selection committee panel, but not one was a bio-mechanics expert or a body science person. Since eligibility is going to be based on the fitness of a player, it might be better to have these experts in the selection panel than former cricketers,” 

He added: “After all if it comes to a choice between two players for a spot in the team these experts would be in a better position to tell which among the two is fitter than the other and never mind the runs scored or wickets taken by the two players.”