The Indian team has set 16.1 as the Yo-Yo test benchmark for the past couple of years and any player failing to clear the test is not selected. “Fitness is important and the fielding standard of the Indian team has improved a lot. But there should be a balanced approach,” Kaif said at the Ekamra Sports Literature Festival here during a panel discussion on the topic ‘The Secularist and Cricketer’.
“If a player is scoring runs and taking wickets, dropping him solely on the basis that he could not pass the ‘Yo-Yo’ is not good,” added Kaif, who was one of the fittest players of his time. The most recent example was Ambati Rayudu, whose national comeback after nearly two years was stalled when he failed to clear the Yo-Yo test despite scoring 600 plus runs in the Indian Premier League.
Subsequently, Rayudu cleared the fitness test and was picked for the Asia Cup. “When I was in the team, there was a test (beep test) to know the fitness of the players, but never was a player dropped from the team because of that. He would be told that his fitness level was not good and will have make improvements in the next few months.”
Kaif also found it strange that Rishabh Pant is being tried as an outfielder in 50-over cricket. “Rishabh is basically a wicketkeeper, but he has been made to field everywhere. I believe he will not be comfortable with that,” said the 37-year-old Kaif, one of the best fielders of his time.