India has over the years improved as a cricketing nation. Gone are the days when fast bowlers could just get past with the excuse of a back injury. Stopping a ball by using your leg is a distant cricketing dream now (unless you are Ashish Nehra). Recently, the BCCI and the Indian skipper Virat Kohli made it mandatory to pass the Yo-Yo fitness test. Players including the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina had to sit out as they failed to make it past the qualifying mark.
Now, the BCCI has gone one step further as they proposed the test to be mandatory for the junior teams as well. However, veteran cricketer and coach for the Junior Indian team, Rahul Dravid has something else to say about it. Declining the proposal, Dravid made it clear that junior players do not have to go through rigid fitness tests. Instead, they should focus on improving their cricketing skills. According to the Wall, as Dravid is popularly known, it should always be the skill on which a player should be selected and not fitness.“The Indian team trainer had thrown the idea of having Yo-Yo test for India Under-19 team but Dravid made it clear that it should not be needed for junior cricket. At this age, players should improve their skills. Fitness is important, but if he can score runs and take wickets, that should be the parameter of selecting a player,” said a source from the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore to The Indian Express.
BCCI CEO, Rahul Johri had earlier made it clear through his statement that captain Virat Kohli, coach Ravi Shastri, chief selector MSK Prasad, and other members have set the parameters for the senior cricket team of the selection committee in consultation with the support staff (trainer and physio).