Indian Cricket: ‘Yo-Yo tests can’t be the only criterion for selection’


NOVEMBER 18, 2018

Kapil Dev says cricketing fitness is different from athleticism

Kapil Dev is legendary for many reasons, one of them being his amazing fitness levels throughout his playing career. So when he insists that fitness standards need to be looked at in their entirety, you have to take note.

The World Cup-winning captain insists that while Yo-Yo tests can be a good parameter for setting a basic benchmark, they cannot be the only criterion for selection to the national team.

“I think it’s important to keep a level of fitness but in my mind, cricketing fitness is more important than anything else and it is different from Yo-Yo tests,” Kapil told The Hindu on the sidelines of his Tedx Talk here on Sunday.

“If you are not a good athlete but if you have good cricketing sense and use yourself best for the benefit of the team, that’s more important.

“ If I say (Ravichandran) Ashwin is not a 100 % athlete but a 100 % performer of the game, can you really say he is not good enough if he doesn’t pass the Test? Same with (Saurav) Ganguly. He wasn’t one of the best athletes but he was one of the best captains we have had,” Kapil said.

He, however, refused to predict the outcome of the tour down under despite all talk of this being the weakest Australian team.

Not a big fan of the in-your-face aggression that has dominated the Indian team for a while now, Kapil said, “Aggression is not something to show on television. Hitting the bat on the ground after getting out is not aggression, it’s show business. Aggressive is what you do with your performance.”

Asked about Hardik Pandya and the constant comparisons with him, Kapil advised restraint. “I only say that we should not put pressure on young kids, don’t compare so early. Tomorrow when Prithvi (Shaw) comes out and we say he’s the next Sachin Tendulkar, his natural talent will go out, don’t do that.

“Let them play over a period of time — 7-8 years — and you will come to know who’s what because by then a player is mature enough. Pandya is a very good cricketer, very talented but he has to perform,” he signed off.