It's been almost 14 years since Mahendra Singh Dhoni broke into the cricketing limelight on the international stage but when it comes to peak fitness levels, the former India skipper continues to raise the bar. Despite not having age on his side, the veteran wicket-keeper batsman can give even the youngsters a run for their money when it comes to fitness standards. However, as fitness continues to remain the top-most priority to get selected in Virat Kohli's Team India, the 36-year-old Dhoni appeared for the mandatory regime at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru on Friday. Other members of the Indian squad for the limited-overs tour of England and Ireland, including skipper Kohli, appeared for yo-yo fitness test. Since the 29-year-old took over the reigns of Indian cricket, there has been an extra emphasis on fitness, with the captain himself leading the way.
According to the ANI news agency, the entire contingent underwent the fitness test on Friday.
MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and other players selected for limited overs series with England undergo Yo-Yo Endurance Test at National Cricket Academy: BCCI sources," ANI tweeted.
MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and other players selected for limited overs series with England undergo Yo-Yo Endurance Test at National Cricket Academy: BCCI sources— ANI (@ANI) June 15, 2018
Kohli had to cancel his English county stint with Surrey due to a neck injury, which he sustained during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018. Regaining full fitness ahead of an arduous year that includes tours of Ireland, England and Australia before next year's World Cup, will be his top priority.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had announced that Kohli would have his fitness test on June 15.
"Team India Captain Mr Virat Kohli suffered a neck injury while fielding during Match 51 of the VIVO IPL between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad on 17th May 2018 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. Mr Kohli, who was scheduled to play for Surrey CCC in the month of June, has been ruled out from participating (sic)," BCCI had said last month.
"This decision was taken following assessments by the BCCI medical team, subsequent scans, and a specialist visit. The Team India captain will now undergo a period of rehabilitation under the supervision of the BCCI medical team. He will begin training and subsequently undergo a fitness test at the NCA in Bengaluru from June 15. The BCCI medical Team is confident that Mr Kohli will regain full fitness ahead of India's upcoming tours to Ireland and England," BCCI added.
There is already a move to raise the Yo-Yo test threshold from 16.1 to 16.3, with Ravi Shastri, the coach, keen on even better fitness.
Last week, Sanju Samson, one of Indian cricket's brightest young prospects, was replaced by Ishan Kishan in the A team that left for England after his yo-yo test score didn't meet the required standards.
Mohammed Shami too didn't make the cut ahead of the ongoing Test against Afghanistan, with Navdeep Saini called up in his place.
(With ANI inputs)