With the introduction of yo-yo test in cricket -- mandatory tests for the basic level of aerobic endurance for selection in the squad, cricketers are fitter than ever.
And it is no secret that skipper Virat Kohli has set unprecedented fitness standards in the Indian cricket team.
Kohli's regular Instagram videos of his gym sessions, his strict diet plan that he shared on Gaurav Kapur's chat show Breakfast with Champions, Kohli has pretty much proved that he is one of the fittest athletes donning the Indian jersey. And, he shows it.
But did you know the 32-year-old Indian hockey player Sardar Singh has better numbers to prove that he is fitter than Kohli?
In a report published in Indian Express, it was revealed that Singh's yo-yo test results were 21.4 which easily beats Kohli's score of 19.
It is also worth noting that a cricketer needs a minimum grade of 16.1 in order to pass in the yo-yo test and eventually qualify for the national team.
But what inspired mid-fielder Singh to hit such a high score in the endurance test? His exclusion from the squad for being 'too slow' and after underperforming at Azlan Shah tournament, Singh was determined to make a comeback.
“Darr gaya tha jab team se nikaal dia. Aisa laga sab kuch khatam. Paisa, gaadi ka kya faayda agar hockey nahi chalegi. Bus tab soch liya, itni mehnat karoonga ki koi nahi kahega Sardar fit nahi hai. Sardar fast nahi hai, Singh told Indian Express.
(I was scared when I was dropped. I felt everything was over. What’s the use of money, cars without hockey? That’s when I decided, that I will work so hard that no one can tell me that ‘Sardar isn’t fit, Sardar isn’t fast’)"
The exclusion inspired Singh to hit back the gym and focus on regaining his lost pace. And a quick look at his Instagram account just goes on to prove how the veteran is training harder than ever.
A post shared by Sardarsingh (@sardarsingh8) on Jul 26, 2018 at 9:00am PDT
A post shared by Sardarsingh (@sardarsingh8) on Nov 16, 2017 at 1:58am PST
A post shared by Sardarsingh (@sardarsingh8) on Jan 13, 2018 at 5:04am PST
As for Singh, he returns to the India squad for the Jakarta Asian Games. India will be defending their title and a gold again will secure them a spot at the 2020 Olympics.
What is a yo-yo test?
Cones are placed to mark out two lines 20 meters apart. A player starts with his foot behind one of the lines and begins running when instructed. The player continues running between the two lines, turning when signalled by the recorded beeps.
After each minute or so, the pace gets quicker. If the line is not reached in time, the player must run to the line turn and try to catch up with the pace within two more 'beeps'. The test is stopped if the player fails to catch up with the pace within the two ends.
The entire process is software-based where the results are recorded.
It must be noted that the same test for football and hockey team will produce entirely different results, have higher benchmarks, considering the speed and endurance level involved with the sport.
(With PTI inputs)