Star batsman Yuvraj Singh is the big name missing from the Indian squad for the One Day International series and one-off Twenty20 against Sri Lanka. The Indian team, currently considered as one of the fittest international teams around the globe, goes through a series of fitness drills, out of which the 'Yo-Yo' endurance test is considered one of the major parameters to judge a player's fitness. The failure to clear the 'Yo-Yo' endurance test at the National Cricket Academy was the primary reason why the left-hander was not considered for the Sri Lanka limited overs series. "Yuvraj has been rested," said chief selector MSK Prasad, adding that "doors are never closed on anybody".
Commenting on the selectors' decision to not pick Yuvraj, Gautam Gambhir said 'rest' wasn't the right word use in this particular case.
"I don't think 'rest' is the right word because he (Yuvraj) hasn't played any cricket for quite a while and he would be wanting to play. If you want to see him at the World Cup, he should be given the maximum opportunity. Because, someone like Yuvraj, you want him in that flow, you want him in that rhythm. You can't have someone like him playing in one series and resting thereafter," Gambhir told Cricinfo.
The Delhi batsman also added that it will be extremely tough for Yuvraj to get back into the team going forward.
"So, I feel that it's difficult now for Yuvraj to make a comeback. Hopefully, he does because he is one of the greats of the game," Gambhir said.
The 'Yo-Yo' endurance test is an advanced version of the 'beep' test that was used by teams of earlier generations. The current Indian team is considered to be the fittest by a fair distance.
It has been learnt that for the current Indian team, the acceptable 'Yo-Yo' score is 19.5 and upwards. Captain Virat Kohli, easily the fittest Indian cricketer, scores around 21 in the test.
"The current team think tank, coach Ravi Shastri, skipper Virat Kohli and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad have made it clear that fitness standards are non-negotiable.
"On an average, the Australian cricketers score 21 in Yo-Yo test. Here Virat, Ravindra Jadeja, Manish Pandey regularly hit that score while others are either touching 19.5 or is hitting above that score," a BCCI official said.
(With inputs from PTI)