Failing the yo-yo test was the reason for Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina's ouster from the squad

Failing the yo-yo test was the reason for Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina’s ouster from the squad

The current team think tank, coach Ravi Shastri, skipper Virat Kohli and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad have made it clear that fitness standards are non-negotiable.

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh of India. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The major reason for “resting” Yuvraj Singh and not considering Suresh Raina in the limited-overs squad for the series against Sri Lanka was their failure to clear the ‘Yo-Yo’ endurance test at the National Cricket Academy. Over the years, fitness has become a significant aspect in the selection of players in the Indian squad as well as the playing XI. Because of the bench mark captain Virat Kohli and all other players have set, it goes without saying that fitness has now become a major criterion for a call-up or even a comeback.

The Indian team regularly undergoes a series of fitness tests with ‘Yo-Yo’ endurance test being the most important of them. It is an advanced version of the ‘beep’ test that was used by teams of earlier generations. The current Indian team is considered to be the fittest by a fair distance.

It has been reported that for the current Indian team, the acceptable ‘Yo-Yo’ score is 19.5 and upwards. Captain Virat Kohli, easily the fittest Indian cricketer, scores around 21 in the test. However, both Yuvraj and Raina have scored well below the permissible level of 19.5 with Yuvraj barely managing to touch 16, which was the biggest reason for his ouster.

“The current team think tank, coach Ravi Shastri, skipper Virat Kohli and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad have made it clear that fitness standards are non-negotiable. On an average, the Australian cricketers score 21 in Yo-Yo test. Here Virat, Ravindra Jadeja, Manish Pandey regularly hit that score while others are either touching 19.5 or is hitting above that score,” a BCCI official told PTI today.

“In an earlier era, when the traditional beep test was in vogue, the Indian players of the 1990’s would have scored around 16 to 16.5 barring a few like Mohammed Azharuddin, Robin Singh or Ajay Jadeja. But now it’s different as the skipper himself is hitting the benchmark, which the Australian cricket team sets it,” the official added.

What is the Yo-Yo Test?

The entire process is software-based. It starts with cones being placed to mark out two lines 20 meters apart. A player starts with his foot behind one of the lines and begins running when instructed. The player continues running between the two lines, turning when signalled by the recorded beeps.

After each minute, the speed gets faster. If the player misses the target once, he must run to the line turn and try to catch up with the pace within two more ‘beeps’. The test is called off if the player fails to catch up with the pace within the two ends.

The acceptable scores may vary across sports like football and hockey as they produce entirely different results and have higher benchmarks, considering the speed and endurance level involved with the sport.