The much-debated Yo-Yo test in back in the news after Ravi Shastri made his intentions about the fitness level of the whole team clear on his second stint as Team India head coach. He has decided to increase the qualification mark for the mandatory test. But what is yo-yo test?

The yo-yo test involves a player shuttling between two cones, 20 metres apart on the flat ground. The player starts on the beep and needs to get to the cone at the other end before the second beep goes. He then turns back and returns to the starting cone before the third beep. That is one “shuttle”.

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A player starts at speed level 5, which consists of one shuttle. The next speed level, which is 9, also consists of one shuttle. Speed level 11, the next step up, has two shuttles, while level 12 has three and level 13 four.

Yo-Yo test. Credit: Google

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There are eight shuttles per level from 14 upwards. Level 23 is the highest speed level in a yo-yo test, but no one has come close to getting there yet. Each shuttle covers a distance of 40 metres, and the accumulated distance is an aggregate of distance covered at every speed level.

However, a player gets ten seconds to recover between shuttles. At any point, if he fails to reach the cone before the beep goes, he gets the first warning. Usually, a player gets a few reminders to keep to the pace, but three official warnings generally mark the end of the test.

Moreover, as a player moves up the levels, the time available to complete each shuttle diminishes. As a result, he needs to sprint to reach the next cone before the beep. The player runs until he gets his three warnings, and the level achieved at that point is the test result.

Indian cricketers in training.

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What is the qualification mark to pass?

Different teams have speed levels as qualifying marks. Pakistan’s minimum level is now 17:4; West Indies are at 19, and New Zealand have the highest level which is set at 20:1. Currently, India have a minimum level at 16.3.

But head coach Ravi Shastri has planned to increase it to 17 as he prepares to begin his second term as the head coach. The upcoming series against South Africa will mark the beginning of another journey.

Meanwhile, it was during Anil Kumble’s regime as the head coach, India introduced the yo-yo test in their charter. The former India coach also got backing from Virat Kohli the captain, and senior players like MS Dhoni, who supported the idea of making passing the yo-yo test a requirement for selection.

Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah
Hardik Pandya (L) and Jasprit Bumrah (Credits: Getty)

How have Indian cricketers done so far?

Many cricketers notably Mohammed Shami and Ambati Rayudu had to sit out after failing to clear the yo-yo test. Among others, Sanju Samson, Suresh Raina and recently retired Yuvraj Singh has also flunked the test at some point of time.

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All-rounder Hardik Pandya reportedly has the best mark among the Indian cricketers. With the yo-yo test once again taking the centre stage many Indian cricketers will be on their toes ahead of the South Africa series.