The BCCI reintroduced the Yo-Yo fitness test on Sunday, January 1. The decision followed a high-profile Indian cricket board meeting.
Yo-Yo tests aerobic endurance. Increasing pace between 20-meter-apart markers. Virat Kohli introduced the test as India’s captain. In addition to the Yo-Yo test, Dexa bone scan has been incorporated.
“The Yo-Yo Test and Dexa will now be part of the selection criteria and implemented in the customised roadmaps of the central pool of players,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said after the meeting. President Roger Binny, captain Rohit Sharma, coach Rahul Dravid, NCA chief VVS Laxman, and chief selector Chetan Sharma were also in attendance.
We look at three reasons why the reinstatement of the Yo-Yo test is positive for Indian cricket after Sunday’s BCCI meeting.
#1 2022 showed India’s fitness problem.
The Yo-Yo test has had supporters and critics since its introduction to Indian cricket. 2022 showed that the Indian cricket team’s fitness is poor. India struggled across forms in 2022. Injury and fitness difficulties caused the absence of famous personalities.
Last year, Jasprit Bumrah played five matches in each format. Ravindra Jadeja injured himself in the Asia Cup in the UAE. Both of India’s top match-winners missed the T20 World Cup, and the team felt their absence.
Bumrah and Jadeja won’t play in Sri Lanka either. Mohammed Shami has had multiple injuries and fitness issues. Rohit Sharma has missed more games than he’s played as captain.
Prasidh Krishna and Yash Dayal were also injured in 2022. Deepak Chahar’s case was the strangest. After one or two games, he was injured and unable to play.
#2 Resting often won’t help
2022 was unusual for Indian cricket. Rohit was named full-time captain early in the year, but different captains led across formats. Rohit, Kohli, and Rahul were rested often. Workload management caused the break.
Resting big stars frequently isn’t a method for controlling player workload. The break disrupts the team’s synchronicity and momentum. Changing employees doesn’t help teamwork.
No official word from the BCCI indicates if Kohli, Rohit, and Rahul will play in T20Is against Sri Lanka. If they are rested again, it raises questions about India’s preparations for the 2023 ODI World Cup.
Instead of resting older players, the BCCI should encourage them to get fit so they can play more games. The Yo-Yo test’s comeback makes sense.
#3 Overwork requires more fitness.
Shah said after BCCI:
The NCA will cooperate with the IPL franchisee to monitor the targeted Indian players competing in the IPL 2023.
This implies the NCA and IPL franchisees must monitor player workloads.
While the statement seems nice on paper, it’s evident that players can rest from national service but not the IPL if they’re fit. Rahul, Kohli, and Rohit didn’t miss a single IPL 2022 match yet missed several for India.
The trend is unlikely to change despite the discussion over country vs money. The clubs that paid crores for Indian cricket stars won’t rest them throughout the IPL.
An official said:
“BCCI can’t ask franchises to rest players for IPL games.” They can monitor workload and request data, but they can’t cap a player’s matches or overs.
Indian players would have a heavier workload, necessitating more fitness and Yo-Yo and Dexa tests.