MSK Prasad Virat Kohli India
MSK Prasad (credits - BCCI)

Last Update on: December 27th, 2017 at 02:25 pm

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In the Kohli-Shastri era, with MSK Prasad as chief selector, fitness has become paramount in the Indian dressing room and those who do not fulfil the criteria, are not allowed the dressing room. Washington Sundar is the latest example of it who was in contention to be selected for the T20I series against Australia, riding on his form in IPL and Duleep Trophy but he missed the bus due to a failure in clearing the yo-yo test.

A few months later, the moment he cleared the test, he got selected in the team.

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Ravi Shastri India Team South Africa
Image Courtesy: Getty Images

So is fitness the sole criteria and the ability of a player with and ball are of no use.? Certain no as MSK Prasad, the Chairman of Selectors, has said that fitness does not precede skill but  it adds to the performance,

“See, cricket itself is a skill-based game. Because they are skilful players, they are representing the country. We can never say that fitness has to precede skill. But the issue is that, if fitness adds to skill then one can perform in tough conditions for an extended period of time.,” he told The Indian Express.

“If fitness adds to their skills, we can do that. That’s the reason why these parameters are fixed and the whole country knows these parameters. So now, the youngsters who are coming up will know where they stand and (will) add some more fitness to their already existing skill level,” Prasad added.

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Yuvraj Singh
(Photo by Graham Crouch/Getty Images)

Fitness used to be one of the pre-requisite for any player to represent the country but it has held paramount importance since Ravi Shastri has taken over the job as the Head Coach. In fact, it saw a player like Yuvraj Singh – who was part of the team – losing his place in the side due to a failure in clearing yo-yo test.

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A particular mark has been set up, and all the players have to touch that mark in the yo-yo test to present a case for selection in the Indian team. The player, who are the members of the team presently, also undergo the test as we saw in the case of R Ashwin and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Team India discards like Yuvraj Singh, and Suresh Raina have also cleared the test and their performance in domestic cricket can see them coming back in the side.

South Africa is the next destination for team India where the side will play a total of three Test, six ODIs and three T20Is. The international fixtures start on January 5.

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