Harbhajan Singh    Getty Images
Harbhajan Singh Getty Images

The Yo Yo test has become a basic benchmark for Indian players in every format of the game. Following the same fitness importance Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) has also implemented Yo Yo test for its players.

Harbhajan Singh, Punjab skipper played a major role in the implementation of the test. He was supported by coach Ajay Ratra and PCA trainer Sagar Diwan. The last time Punjab entered knockout stage in Ranji trophy was back in 2015-16 season when they made it to the quarterfinals.

In an interview with Times of India Harbhajan talks about how fitness plays a major role in teams performance.

They have to be fit

“We can’t have players who can just bat and bowl. They have to be fit enough to play,” Harbhajan said.

“At times, during this Ranji season, the intensity was very low. So, I thought enough is enough. Drop in energy levels leads to drop in performance and that leads to poor results. You just can’t have up and down results in alternate matches.”

The test was conducted on several players on Thursday who would be playing the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (domestic T20 tournament). Punjab will play their first match on January 9 against Ranji runner-up Delhi.

Fitness was a major issue

“It is clear that Punjab cricket is growing at the U-19 level, but it is not getting converted at the Ranji Trophy level. We found out that fitness was a major issue. When we suggested this (implementing the Yo-Yo test) to the Punjab Cricket Association, they were very excited about it and urged us to enact it immediately,” said Harbhajan.

Talking about the same Ratra backed up Harbhajan s statement. The parameter of the test is to be the same as national team that is 16.1.

“The Yo-Yo test should be a basic benchmark of fitness for players to be selected in the state team, if someone is getting 12.2, our trainer is there who will help the concerned player get up to the standard mark. We will give players two or two and a half month window to raise their level,” Ratra said.

Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina had failed the test at first. However they both cleared the test later. Harbhajan made it very clear that player status won t matter when it comes to clearing the status.

“Howsoever big a player is, no matter how skillful you are, we want everyone on the same page if they want to represent Punjab,” he said.