Over the years, the game of cricket has become quite competitive with contemporary players raising the standards of being selected in the team. Unlike in the old times, the fitness of a player has become the paramount factor in deciding whether the player is selected in the national team and how his career shapes up. If a cricketer is fit and passes the fitness tests, no matter how old he is, he has a high chance of being selected in the team. For example, Ashish Nehra was picked for the India vs Australia T20I bilateral series 2017 despite being 38 years old. On the other hand, Suresh Raina, who is much younger than Nehra, couldn’t make it to the national team as he failed the test.
See how MS Dhoni keeps himself fit at the age of 35:
Though have you ever wondered what kind of fitness tests a player needs to pass before donning the Indian jersey? Well, the road is not easy as these tests are designed to challenge an individual’s strength and determine where the limits lie.
Let’s have a look at those Fitness Components which a cricketer must carry within himself and the tests he has to go through to make into the national team:
1. Aerobic Fitness
It’s the most important component of a player’s fitness which makes him capable of playing matches for long periods and with minimum fatigue. It helps them sustain the heat stress of playing all day under the sun.
Types of Tests
(a) Bleep/Shuttle Running Test
(b) Cycle Tests/Astrand-Rhyming Cycle Ergometer Test
(c) 12-minute Cooper Run Test
Greater the flexibility, the more is the cricketer’s range of movement. Since this parameter is quite specific to the actions in cricket, a better flexibility helps the cricketer execute his strokes or take impossible looking catches easily. It also helps a player to avoid major injuries.
Types of Tests:
(a) Sit and Reach Flexibility Test
3. Strength and Power
This parameter is essential for a batsman to attempt big shots. A good strength is necessary to avoid cramps during a game. The abdominal function is an important element to control movement and execution of strokes.
4. Body Fat
The amount of body fat is inversely proportional to a cricketer’s ability to move freely around the field as well as how soon he gets fatigued. A high amount of fat hampers a player’s speed on the ground.
Skinfold tests are performed to determine body fat levels:
This parameter is essential to maintain body’s coordination for the controlled movements in cricket.
A player has to go through this such balance tests:
To avoid this:
6. Speed and Agility
A player’s speed and agility can be the deciding factors on how well he performs on the field. For batsmen, it helps them to run fast between the wickets and take quick singles. In fielding, it helps a player to get to the ball quickly and restrict the runs scored by the opponent team.
The endurance test which created of headlines in the recent times is the Yo-Yo Test
Yo-Yo Test is a fitness test where cones are placed to mark out two lines 20 meters apart. Players run as in when instructed. They are supposed to listen to the automated beeps carefully and make turns as they run between the cones.
If the player fails to reach the line in time, they are given an extended chance wherein they have to reach within the next two beeps. If the player is not able to meet with the pace, the test is stopped.
If a player passes all these tests with good results, he is all set to play for his country.
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