Yo-Yo test passing marks for Indian cricketers to be increased from 16.1 to 17? Here’s all you need to know about the fitness test

India head coach Ravi Shastri is reportedly keen on increasing the minimum Yo-Yo test for Indian cricketers to 17.
India's captain Virat Kohli, left, and MS Dhoni during a training session(AP)
India's captain Virat Kohli, left, and MS Dhoni during a training session(AP)
Updated on Sep 11, 2019 12:04 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

The much-talked-about Yo-Yo test is back in the news after Team India head coach Ravi Shastri along with his support staff have reportedly shown interest in increasing the minimum qualification mark to 17 from the existing level of 16.1. The move, set to be implemented before the South Africa tour, will be done to give utmost priority to the fitness levels of Indian cricketers.

So what exactly is the Yo-Yo Test?

This test is basically a variation of the Beep test which is a running aerobic fitness routine that Indian cricketers undertook in the past. This is a gruelling routine and has two sets of cones which are placed 20 metres apart. Once the beep is sounded, an athlete has to reach the marker on the other side by the time the next beep shrieks. He then has to turn around and rush back to mark from where he started the run.

The frequency of the beeps keeps on increasing with every round - and a player is considered to be successful in the test after they finish the run to the cone and back. There is a gap of about seven seconds between each trip.

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The test starts with a player kicking off his jog at a speed of level 5, which consists of one shuttle. Subsequently, the next speed level, which is 9, also consists of one shuttle. The next speed level is 11 and this has two shuttles while level 12 has three and level 13 four. There are eight shuttles per level from 14 upwards.

In the existing form, level 23 is the highest speed level in a yo-yo test. It should be mentioned here that each shuttle covers a distance of 40 metres and hence, the total distance is an aggregate of distance covered at every speed level.

The player in the routine gets ten seconds to recover between two shuttles. Also, he will keep a first warning at any point when he fails to reach the first cone.

Cricket teams have different speed levels as qualifying marks. Currently, India have set 16:1 as the qualifying speed level, which means it is mandatory for their players to finish the first shuttle of speed level 16, which when translated to an accumulated distance of 1120 metres. Pakistan’s minimum level is now 17:4; West Indies are at 19, and New Zealand have the highest level which is set at 20:1.

Should Yo-Yo test be mandatory?

Fitness is paramount. However, this is not a case of one-size-fits-all, according to those who are not in favour of making this test compulsory. “It doesn’t take in account the cricketing ability. Also, one needs to be at a certain level of fitness to take part in the test. it can’t be the ultimate test of one’s sports ability,” said sports and exercise nutrition specialist Rishi Manuja.

How have the Indian cricketers fared?

Former India fast bowler Ashsis Nehra had given an insight into the performance of Indian cricketers in a Yo-Yo test when it was first made mandatory. “Team India has set a 16.1 mark, which is soon going to be 16.5 soon. The New Zealand cricket team has it at 18. So you have to run a lot”.

“All the players perform above than 16.1 mark as that is the qualifying mark. Hardik Pandya has done 19, I marked 18.5 ahead of the T20I series against England in January. Manish Pandey does 19,” Nehra said.

Yo-Yo in other sports

Yo-Yo made its way into Indian cricket in 2017 but it has been one of the most used fitness parameters for different sports around the globe. In football, hockey and rugby, the Yo-Yo test is a mandatory feature.

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