Former Indian swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag believes that skills and not fitness should be a criterion for selection in the Indian team as according to him, fitness, unlike skills, can be improved over time.
Yo-Yo test has been one of the biggest talking points in Indian cricket in the past few years and several prominent cricketers including the likes of Yuvraj Singh have failed to breach it.
Recently, the fitness test once again came into the spotlight when Tamil Nadu and Kolkata Knight Riders spinner Varun Chakravarthy failed to pass the criteria.
Virender Sehwag, in a video published on CricBuzz, believes that if a player can field and bowl 10 overs then that should be enough for him to be selected in the team.
“Skill is important, today if you are playing a fit team but don’t have the skills, then you would ultimately end up losing. Play them based on their skills, slowly you can improve their fitness over time but if is yo-yo criteria is applied straight away, then the talks are different. If a player can field and bowl 10 overs, that should be enough, we shouldn’t be concerned about the other things,” Virender Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
Virender Sehwag was responding to a fan’s query who had asked if Hardik Pandya was unfit to bowl why did he play in the T20I series and why Varun Chakravarthy did not get a chance despite him being fit to bowl.
”Wasn’t fitness the no.1 criteria?” – the user asked.
Sehwag responded by saying that Hardik’s issues are with regards to his bowling workload. The former opener, however, added that had the Yo-Yo test existed back in the day then the likes of VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar would never have been able to pass it.
“I want to tell you one thing, here we are talking about yo-yo Test, Hardik Pandya doesn’t have issues with running, he has issues with workload because of his bowling. However, Ashwin and (Varun) Chakravarthy, on the other hand, haven’t cleared the yo-yo Test, that’s why they aren’t here. But I won’t agree with all of this, if these criteria existed before, Laxman and Ganguly wouldn’t have passed it. During my time, we had such a test, where they always fell short of the 12.5 mark,” Virender Sehwag added.