Rayudu has not donned India’s ODI colours since the away series against Zimbabwe in 2016 but a stupendous IPL campaign, where he scored 602 runs for champions Chennai Super Kings, saw the batsman force his way back into the squad for the England tour.
All that came undone when Rayudu failed to clear the Yo-Yo fitness test at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
In recent years, the Yo-Yo test has become the definitive benchmark for selection to the Indian team. The Yo-Yo test is an advanced version of the old beep test. It is perhaps the last remaining reminiscent of Anil Kumble’s one-year tenure as coach of team India and has wholeheartedly been embraced by skipper Virat Kohli and current coach Ravi Shastri.
Rayudu is not the first to fail the Yo-Yo test and neither will he be the last judging by things so far. Here, we take a look at the history of fitness test and the Indian team.
YUVRAJ SINGH AND SURESH RAINA
While Suresh Raina might be celebrating his return to the ODI fold, he himself suffered the ignominy of being axed from the squad after failing the test in August, 2017. Ahead of the selection of India’s squad for the ODI series in Sri Lanka, veteran Yuvraj Singh and Raina were both subjected to the Yo-Yo test. Both flunked and failed to find a place in the team.
Since then, Yuvraj has not featured at all for India and his international career seems all but over. On the other hand, Raina worked himself back into contention for the T20 squad with some promising domestic performances and has now returned to the ODI team after passing the same test at the NCA.
Mohammed Shami’s 2018 has been horrific to say the least following the domestic assault charges filed by his wife after which he got involved in a road-accident that left him with multiple injuries. The India pacer was in contention to play for India in Afghanistan’s inaugural Test which concluded recently in Bengaluru.
However, Shami’s dreams of playing in the historic Test were dashed days before the start after he too failed to clear the minimum threshold for the Yo-Yo test which has reportedly been set at 16.1 by the Indian team management.
The 28-year-old was promptly axed from the Test squad with Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini being handed a maiden India call-up as a replacement.
Sanju Samson has been earmarked as a potential superstar after his exhilarating performances for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL in the 2013 and 2014 editions.
However, a string of inconsistent seasons in domestic cricket with Kerala saw the wicketkeeper-batsman fall down the pecking order while fresher and hungrier talents leapfrogged him.
After a fine season for Kerala last year, Samson returned to Rajasthan Royals for the 2018 IPL and wasted no time in reminding the selectors of his talents. Soon enough, a call up to the India ‘A’ squad for their tour of England followed and it seemed Samson’s once promising career was back on track.
But just when things were looking up for the youngster, he was laid low by the Yo-Yo test just days before the team’s departure for England. He was replaced by Mumbai Indians’ Ishan Kishan. Kishan has made the most of his opportunity by slamming a quick-fire half-century in the side’s opening tour match against an ECB XI while Samson has been left licking his wounds back in India.
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