BCCI introduces new fitness test for Indian players
Fitness has become an essential parameter for players eyeing for a place in the Indian cricket team. It is not that easy to represent Team India because even the talented bunch of cricketers are warming the bench despite being fit. The competition is so tough nowadays.
Talking about fitness, the Indian team management had earlier introduced Yo-Yo fitness test and players must clear this in order to be a part of the team. The Yo-Yo test for all cricket stars remains at 17.1, this is the benchmark set by the board.
Now in the latest development, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is all set to introduce a new ‘mandatory test’. The ultimate objective of this is to test the players’ endurance. It includes a mandatory 2-km time trial where the players are measured in terms of speed and endurance levels.
As per the recent reports, the test is compulsory for BCCI’s contracted cricketers and the ones who are fighting to make an entry into the national squad. This test will not replace the traditional Yo-Yo test as players will have to clear both the tests in order to represent the team.
The news media quoted a top BCCI official as saying: “The Board felt that the current fitness standard played a huge role in getting our fitness to the next level. It is important to take our fitness level to another level now. The time trial exercise will help us to compete even better. The board will keep updating the standards every year.”
The report goes on to add saying that the benchmark for fast bowlers is 8 minutes and 15 seconds. For others (batsmen, wicketkeepers and spinners), the threshold limit will be 8 minutes and 30 seconds. The new test has been sanctioned by BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah. It should be noted that the board will perform the test in 3 windows every year – February, June and August or September.
The players who were a part of the Australian tour will be exempted from taking the test in February. Nonetheless, clearing the test is mandatory for players vying for a spot in the limited-overs squad for the upcoming home series against England.
Meanwhile, BCCI announced the squad for first two Tests against England. Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya return to the squad. T Natarajan has been dropped while Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur who impressed everyone on their debut at The Gabba have been picked by the selectors.
India’s squad for first 2 Tests:
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul (subject to fitness after the first Test), Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel
Priyank Panchal, KS Bharat (wicketkeeper), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar
Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, K Gowtham, Saurabh Kumar