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‘Just a fitness parameter, not be-all and end-all’ – Prithvi Shaw to play in IPL despite failing yo-yo test

Young Indian batsman Prithvi Shaw has reportedly failed the yo-yo test, after his assessment at the NCA (national Cricket Academy) in Bangalore. BCCI is assessing the fitness of all its centrally contracted players before the start of IPL 2022.

Hardik Pandya, coming off a four-month break from cricket since the T20 World Cup in 2021, passed the yo-yo test with flying colours. But 22-year-old Shaw, captain of India’s U-19 World cup winning team from 2018, reportedly failed. However, that doesn’t stop him from playing the IPL, since he isn’t one of the BCCI’s contracted cricketers.

“These are just fitness updates. Obviously, it doesn’t stop Prithvi from playing for Delhi Capitals in IPL,” explained a source from news agency PTI. “It’s just a fitness parameter and not the be all and end all.”

The yo-yo test is a test of aerobic fitness, involving running between two pairs of cones that are set 22 yards apart (the length of a cricket pitch). The qualification score is 16.5 for men, and Shaw failed to score more than 15.

Fatigue from successive first-class games could also affect Shaw’s yo-yo score, says BCCI source

Shaw has played three first-class games for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy since the start of 2022. He looked in decent touch but has only two forty-plus scores from five innings. Recently he talked about unhappiness with his inability to convert his scores into hundreds, saying that 40’s and 50’s mean nothing in cricket.

“Look, he has played three Ranji matches back-to-back,” said the source. “Once you play three first-class games on the bounce, the fatigue can also affect your Yo-Yo score. If Prithvi is not being repeatedly considered, then perhaps his fitness standards aren’t up to the mark, as in what is expected of a Team India player.”

This is not the first time Shaw has been disqualified for his poor fitness standard. He had an excellent IPL season in 2021, scoring 479 runs opening the batting for the Delhi Capitals. But in May last year, it came to light that Shaw was asked by the BCCI to ‘shed a few more kilos’ before he could make his way to the national team, and that he was ‘still very slow across the turf for a 21-year-old’.

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