All the brouhaha over the Yo-Yo test for the Team India players falls flat if one were to look at the pass marks of other teams. The score prescribed by the Indian team management and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is, after all, very basic, the lowest among the top teams of world cricket. Even the Pakistan team, no great advertisement for fitness standards not long ago, has kept a very high benchmark.
Mirror has tried to find out the minimum marks of most teams and it turns out England and New Zealand have 19 as much as Australia had set for their players before discontinuing with it about four years ago. For the South African players, it is 18.5 and for the Sri Lankans, it is 17.4. For the Pakistanis too, it is 17.4.
“We’ve taken it to 17.4,” confirmed Mickey Arthur while talking to Mirror from Lahore. Since the South African took over the reins of the Pakistan team, he has been putting extreme emphasis on fitness, an exercise which had led to the dropping of Umar Akmal at one stage.
Confirmation was provided by the England team too with its spokesperson telling this paper that the minimum score on the Yo-Yo test for Joe Root & Co is 19. A spokesperson for the South Africa team refused to disclose the number stating that there are different qualifying scores for different players. “There is no standard pass mark. Each player is given/sets their own personal benchmark that they have to pass. It is definitely higher than 16 though,” the spokesperson said. This paper has information that it is 18.5.
Cricket Australia has discontinued with the Yo-Yo test some four years ago but prior to that, it wanted the players to log 19 marks in the test. Said Greg Chappell, who heads one of the best high performance centres in Brisbane, “We stopped using the Yo-Yo 4-5 years ago. It was not considered a reliable enough measure for what we wanted. We use the 2 kilometre time trial these days,” he said, adding that 19 was the minimum mark before the test was discontinued.
Quite contrary to that, the Team India management has fixed the minimalist benchmark for the test “so that the players have minimum standards of fitness.” Said a BCCI source in direct the knowledge of the test, “After scoring a century, the player has to be in a position to run three. How do we know that? The Yo-Yo score may be an indication to that. Currently, we have 16.1. At some stage, we may increase it to 16.3.” All four sections of Indian cricket – team management, selectors, India A team management and the BCCI management are apparently on the same page with regard to the minimum fitness requirements for the players.
Three players – Sanju Samson, Mohammad Shami and Ambati Rayudu –failed to clear the Yo-Yo, which basically is a 20-metre run which should be completed before a ‘Beat’ is played.
However, it is not that all the players are lacking in fitness. Virat Kohli has, of course, raised the bar in fitness to a new level while some youngsters have also clocked 19 in the Yo-Yo.
Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma cleared the Yo-Yo test in Bangalore yesterday. There was intense speculation over his low Yo-Yo marks, BCCI sources have told Mirror that the white ball teams opener has cleared the test and will be on flight to Ireland and England. The team leaves on June 23 from Delhi.