India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has got the all-clear to lead Gujarat Titans in the upcoming IPL after a general assessment at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru where he bowled and also passed the ‘Yo-Yo’ Test comfortably.
The BCCI is checking on all its centrally contracted players — injured or otherwise — before the IPL and Pandya’s performance, during his two days at the NCA, can also be seen as a good sign for Indian cricket.
“Let’s make it clear. Fitness test clearance is only for those who are coming back from injury. In case of Hardik, it was about getting a general fitness assessment going into the gruelling IPL season,” a BCCI source told.”He is an asset and one needed to check his current fitness standards,”
In fact, in his fitness assessment module, the NCA team didn’t even mandate him to bowl but the all-rounder apparently “insisted” on it to show that he is on track to make a comeback into the Indian team.
“He didn’t need to bowl at NCA but he has bowled for considerable time and in the range of 135 kmph. On the second day, he crossed the Yo-Yo test with flying colours with a 17-plus score which is much above the cut-off level,” the source said.
However, as per information received one player, who would be slightly disappointed with his current fitness status is out-of-favour opener Prithvi Shaw.
The former U-19 World Cup winning captain, who is not a part of the central contract was also at the NCA to provide an update on his fitness status and the result wasn’t exactly satisfactory.
The current Yo-Yo test qualification score is 16.5 for men and it has been learnt that the Mumbai opener has scored less than 15.
“These are just fitness updates. Obviously, it doesn’t stop Prithvi from playing for Delhi Capitals in IPL. It’s just a fitness parameter and not the be all and end all,” the source said.
“Look, he has played three Ranji matches back-to-back. Once you play three first-class games on the bounce, the fatigue can also affect your Yo-Yo score,” he added.
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