Yo-Yo test shouldn’t be sole selection criterion, says Sachin Tendulkar
Be it MS Dhoni’s longevity or Mohammed Shami’s return to the India squad for the ongoing England tour, the Yo-Yo Test has played a key role in determining the careers of a lot of players. Sachin Tendulkar however feels that shouldn’t be the mandatory selection criterion.
Shami was dropped from the India squad for the one-off Test against Afghanistan. He hasn’t played an international game since the Johannesburg Test in January but was named in the 18-man squad for the upcoming Test series against England on Wednesday. Similarly, while Dhoni’s current form has come under the scanner, his place in the team doesn’t seem to be under any threat owing to his experience and fitness.
Tendulkar feels that while a certain standard was required, selection should also take into account other factors. “I feel certain fielding standards are critical. Now I haven’t done the Yo-Yo Test. We had the beep test, which is more or less similar,” said Tendulkar. “But that shouldn’t be the only criterion. It should be a mixture of fitness and also looking at the ability of a player. I think Yo-Yo test is important but also looking at the ability of the player and how fit or unfit the player is.”
The Yo-Yo test has already cost Ambati Rayudu and Sanju Samson their spots in the national squad and the ‘A’ side. Both players had a terrific run in the Indian Premier League, with Rayudu slamming three half-centuries and a century while guiding Chennai Super Kings to their third IPL title.
India have had mixed fortunes in the England tour so far, winning the T20I series 2-1 but losing the ODI rubber 2-1. And although the wrist spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal caused the hosts few problems, India seemed more undone by Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali’s spin. Tendulkar said that if conditions are similar and similar surfaces are offered in the Test series too, it would only hurt the Indian batsmen.
“If it continues to be like this — and the kind of surfaces we have seen even in the ODIs — someone like Kuldeep, Chahal and their leg-spinner (Adil Rashid) were able to get some help off the surface. So, if the surfaces are going to be like that in a five-day game, then our spinners are surely in the game. They (England) will hurt Indian batters. But if they are not going to give spinner-friendly surfaces, then it’s going to be a competition between our batting and their batting. We have good depth in our batting. Thus, on a decent surface, it will be difficult to get our batting out.”
While Tendulkar hailed from an era of stability where the Fab Four nearly played every game, it’s in stark contrast to the manner in which the playing eleven is changed every Test. The legend said that unless the situation demands, it’s better not to tinker with the side.
“The changes take place depending on the surface, depending on the form of that particular individual, depending on how long the series is because sometimes in a three-Test series you have to make decisions very quickly,” he said. “So, I would say one has to be patient and balanced but that doesn’t mean you are not supposed to make any changes. One should make changes if the situation demands those changes but otherwise I feel it’s always nice to have that stability and letting the players know that there aren’t going to be too many unnecessary changes.”