What is a Yo-Yo Fitness Test in Cricket? All You Need to Know

Know the yo-yo test in cricket and how the Indian cricket team used it to become one of the fitter teams in the world. Also, know how players fared in it.

What is a Yo-Yo Fitness Test in Cricket? All You Need to Know
Subhayan Dutta

Written by: Subhayan Dutta

(Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Dillip Mohanty

(Sports Editor)

Last updated: 2024-01-19

5 minutes read

The Yo-Yo Test was first introduced in Indian cricket in 2017 by the management’s strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu, and it has since become a huge measure of the players’ fitness.

The Yo-Yo test soon became a topic of discussion when players like Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Shami, Ambati Rayudu, Sanju Samson, Varun Chakravarthy and more failed the test were either not selected or got their national team return delayed.

However, fast forward to 2024 and the Yo-Yo test is the benchmark for fitness in cricket today. Consequently, the Indian team boasts some of the fittest players in world cricket today, like Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and more.

Virat Kohli Yo Yo Test.jpeg

What is Yo-Yo Test?

The Yo-Yo test is a running aerobic fitness test, another version of the renowned Beep test. It entails a player to run between two sets of cones that are spaced 20 meters apart, similar to the length of a cricket pitch.

A player must cross over to the other side of the cone at the next beep. Then, to avoid the third beep, the player must go back to the original cone. The completion of a shuttle occurs when the return journey is completed.

Every shuttle has a seven-second interval for rest in between. The standard for the shuttle's completion time drops as each level is reached. Although not mathematically, the quantity of shuttles rises on each level as well and the running speed increases as a result of this.

It gets increasingly difficult as you go along. Level 5 contains just one shuttle, while level 11 has two; and so on. The highest level is 23. A player's test is over once they miss two beeps. The procedure is computer-based, and the outcomes are documented.

The player's score is determined by timing the test and counting the number of shuttles they finish before losing their ability to keep up with the speed. Hence, a target of 17.1 means a player must complete the first shuttle of speed level 17 to pass the Yo-Yo test.

The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) has further incorporated two-kilometre time trials to evaluate the speed and stamina of its players. Hence. A player has to pass both the selection trials as well as the Yo-Yo Test in cricket to get into the Indian team. While a fast bowler has to complete the two-kilometre trial in 8 minutes and 15 seconds, others must finish in 8 minutes and 30 seconds.

Yo-Yo Test scores: By Players and International cricket teams 

Alastair Cook Yo Yo Test.jpeg

 

According to Yo-Yo Test.com, England has the highest score led by their former captain Alastair Cook, while the Indian cricket team international to stay on top is Manish Pandey.     

Yo-Yo Test Scores

By Players

Serial No.Yo-Yo Test Score PlayerCountry
122.3Alastair CookEngland
222.1Al-Amin HossainBangladesh
322.1Shan MasoodPakistan
420.6Steve O’KeefeAustralia
520.6Chemar HolderWest Indies
619.2Kagiso RabadaSouth Africa
719.2Maheesh TheekshanaSri Lanka
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Not every team has made the Yo-Yo Test mandatory for selection, and we have mentioned the few teams above from their last released test score.

After Cook, England hard-hitter Jonny Bairstow (21.8) has the second-highest Yo-Yo Test score for his nation, and he is further followed by yet another former captain Joe Root (21.1)

Quite surprisingly, Bangladesh’s fast bowler Al-Amin Nasir sits second on the list of highest Yo-Yo scores with his tally being 22.1. He is followed by two other fast bowlers, Nihaduzzamnan (21.1) and Shahadat Hossain (19.1), respectively, for their nation.

Al-Amin Hossain Bangladesh Bowler.jpeg

Pakistan’s Shan Masood sits third on the list with a score of 22.1. From Pakistan, his score is matched by wicket-keeper Muhammad Rizwan (22.1) and Asad Shafiq (21.1).

Australia has discontinued the use of the Yo-Yo test for national team selection, but their best score came from Steven O’Keefe (20.6). He was closely followed by former Aussie skipper and star batsman Michael Clarke (20.1) and fast bowler Doug Bollinger (19.2).

West Indies’ sole entrant for this table has been fast bowler Chemar Holder with a score of 20.6. The tally of 19.2 has been shared by the likes of South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, AB De Villiers and Dale Steyn, Sri Lanka’s Maheesh Theekshana and India’s Manish Pandey.

Surprisingly, former India captain Virat Kohli, who is widely counted among the fittest players in world cricket, is not on this list. Kohli’s highest Yo-Yo test score is 19, which was toppled by former Indian batsman Virender Sehwag (19.3). India’s highest score, however, is held by Jammu & Kashmir player Ahmed Banday, who hasn’t played any international match.

Should the Yo-Yo Test be used as a selection standard in cricket?

Since its inception in cricket and more importantly, the Indian cricket team’s introduction of it in their national team selection, the Yo-Yo Test as a parameter has always been questioned. While the test perfectly measures an athlete’s fitness and stamina, experts have asked its relevance in cricket.

Cricket as a sport has evolved over the years with each player developing a specific role as per their expertise. A hard hitter like Andre Russell would require more muscle and he can fare with lesser speed, a trait that a fast bowler can’t be selected for. Moreover, Yo-Yo Test scores don’t take into factor a cricketer’s batting skills like hand-eye coordination, timing or technique.

Hence, it could be safely concluded that while it should essentially remain in cricket to measure and maintain mandatory fitness levels of players, a higher Yo-Yo test scorer can’t guarantee greatness in cricket. 

FAQs

What is the highest Yo-Yo test score?

The highest Yo-Yo Test score belongs to Alastair Cook, whose tally is 22.3.

What is the Dhoni Yo-yo test score?

MS Dhoni’s last known Yo-Yo Test score was known to be 19, before retired from international cricket.

How to pass the Yo-Yo Test in cricket?

Simply put, a player must cross a 40-meter distance in the allotted time and three beeps. The player must progressively run faster as the level rises because the interval between alarms gets shorter with each level.

Subhayan Dutta

Subhayan Dutta

An M.A. in English Literature, Subhayan is an experienced journalist and sports writer. Having worked as a journalist at Hindustan Times, Subhayan covered diverse beats including sports, education, and health, showcasing his versatility and in-depth understanding of various subjects.

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