Gautam Gambhir roasts Yo-Yo Test; calls for talent over fitness in team selection

Updated - 11 Jun 2024, 07:52 PM

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir. Image Credit: YouTube

As the debate rages on regarding the importance of fitness in the modern era of the game, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has sparked controversy by criticizing the very famous Yo-Yo Test. Gambhir has openly said that he is not a big fan of the so-called Yo-Yo Test.

Gambhir, the two-time World Cup winner, also questioned the need for the Yo-Yo Test to determine the player's aerobic endurance and fitness levels to consider for selection, arguing that the players should be selected based on talent, not physical prowess.

However, the former Indian batter admitted that fitness is undoubtedly important in the game, but it should not be the sole criterion to decide a player's suitability for the team. He suggested that the trainer should be given the whole responsibility of assessing the overall fitness of the players.

Gambhir slams the Yo-Yo Test amid India head coach role speculations

Gautam Gambhir was quoted as saying by Sportskeeda: “Fitness should be a factor, but I also do not agree that we have to pass a fitness test to be called fit. I don't agree to that. Fitness should directly be related to the trainer. If a trainer feels that you're fit enough, some people are physically strong from a point of view that they can lift a lot of weights in the gym.”

The former cricketer-turned-coach also opined that different players excel in different aspects of physical performance. Gambhir further explained, “Some people's endurance is not good. Some people's endurance is good, but they are weak in the gym, weak in lifting weights, weak in strength. So, I think it should be the trainer who should decide who's fit and who's not fit. Not the Yo-Yo Test. Nothing should be a benchmark.

I don't agree to that, honestly. For me, I think I might be able to achieve yo-yo and I might not be able to pick up weights in the gym. So, it doesn't mean that I'm physically strong. I'm only, from the endurance point of view, I'm strong. The most important role of a trainer is to make the weak improve.”

Gautam Gambhir calls for a talent-driven approach to player selection

Well, Gambhir also expressed his concerns about the yo-yo test being used as a benchmark for the national selection, saying it unfairly penalizes players who may excel on the field. He called for a re-evaluation of selection criteria, suggesting the focus should be on skills and talent rather than fitness standards while selecting the players for the team.

Gambhir signed off by saying, “But if you don't select someone just because of a yo-yo test, I don't think that's the right way. You select players on their talent, on their battling skills, on their bowling skills. And it is the trainer's job to keep working on their fitness and keep making them better physically as well. Just because someone doesn't pass a yo-yo test and doesn't get selected, I think that is a bit unfair.”

Notably, Gambhir recently guided the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to an IPL 2024 triumph after a decade. He was the mentor of the KKR team that defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2024 final in May at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai.

Gambhir has been considered a top contender to replace Rahul Dravid as India’s next head coach after the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024. However, the former Indian opener has not revealed anything about his interest in the high-profile job.


Gautam Gambhir