Gautam Gambhir roasts the Yo-Yo test; Ask for talent before aptitude in team selection.

Gautam Gambhir

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

Two-time World Cup winner Gambhir also questioned the need for the Yo-Yo test to determine a player’s aerobic endurance and fitness levels to be considered for selection, arguing that players should be selected based on talent, not physical skill.

However, the former Indian batsman admitted that fitness is certainly important in the game but it should not be the only criterion to decide a player’s suitability for the team. He suggested that the coach should be given full responsibility for assessing the overall fitness of the players.

Gambhir slams Yo-Yo test amid speculation over India head coach’s role

Gautam Gambhir was quoted by Sportskeeda: “Fitness should be a factor, but I also don’t agree that we have to pass a fitness test to be considered fit. I do not agree with that. Fitness should be directly related to the trainer. If a trainer deems you fit enough, some people are physically strong from the 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, “The resistance of some people 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 coach who should decide who is fit and who is not. Not the Yo-Yo test. Nothing should be a reference point.

Honestly, I don’t agree with that. For me, I think I might be able to yo-yo and I might not be able to lift weights in the gym. So, that doesn’t mean I’m physically strong. Only, from the point of view of resistance, I am strong. The most important role of a coach is to make the weak improve.”

Gautam Gambhir calls for talent-based approach to player selection

Well, Gambhir also expressed concern over the use of the yo-yo test as a benchmark for the national team, saying it unfairly penalizes players who can excel on the field. He called for a re-evaluation of the selection criteria, suggesting that the focus should be on skills and talent rather than physical fitness standards when selecting players for the team.

Gambhir signed off by saying, “But if you don’t select someone just for a yo-yo test, I don’t think it’s the right way. You select players based on their talent, fighting skills, and bowling skills. And it’s the coach’s job to keep working on his fitness and keep improving physically as well. Just because someone doesn’t pass a yo-yo test and doesn’t get selected, I think it’s a little unfair.”

Notably, Gambhir recently guided Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to a triumph in IPL 2024 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 one of the leading contenders 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.