This week, cricketers Sanju Samson and Mohd Shami missed out on selection for the India A and senior teams touring England after having failed the “yo-yo test”. Yo-yo is an aerobic endurance training exercise that uses beep methods, velocity bursts, and an aerobic fitness test.
THE TEST: Developed by Danish football physiologist Jens Bangsbo, it has a beginner’s and an advanced level. Two cones are placed 20 metres apart, and the athlete has to run between them when the beep goes off. The beeps become more frequent after one minute, and if the athlete fails to reach the line within that time, he is expected to catch up within two more beeps. The test is stopped if the player fails to catch up before the beeps run out. Players are given scores; the Indian cricket board has kept 16.1 as par to pass the test.
LIMITATIONS: Yo-yo tests are good for generic movement analysis. Different players respond differently based on their metabolism and lung capacity. Cricket, however, needs skill sets such as hand-eye coordination, footwork, body balance, upper and lower body strength, reflexes, how you maintain balance with head position, etc. — the yo-yo test isn’t a great indicator of where a player stands.
The workload of a player can affect the outcome. Someone who is tested after a heavy season might struggle; someone else who is fresher might ace the test. Ashish Nehra successfully completed the test the last time he played international cricket; the younger Samson has now failed.
BEYOND CRICKET: The par pass score is higher in hockey and football. But teams under the US National Basketball Academy don’t use the advanced version of the yo-yo beep test. “We encourage teams to not compare athletes’ numbers based on these tests. Even basketball and NBA with its back and forth runs doesn’t use yo-yo, because you can’t compare two athletes,” Boden Westover, director of marketing at Catapult Sports, has said. Catapult produces GPS devices that are used by over a 1,000 teams across the world for advanced running analysis.
— Sriram Veera
Telling Numbers | A city on fire: Mumbai sees 13 a day, leading to 4 deaths a month
On Wednesday, a fire broke out on the higher floors of a Mumbai highrise, and nearly 100 residents were evacuated before it was brought under control. While the fire caught public notice because actor Deepika Padukone owns an apartment in the building — she has tweeted that she is safe — it is one of a very large number of fires in Mumbai.
In six years until 2017-18, the Mumbai Fire Brigade recorded over 29,000 incidents of fire, it revealed in an RTI reply to NGO Adhikar Foundation. This translates to over 4,700 fires every year, or 13 every day. In 2018-19 (until June 9), there have been a further 710 incidents, the reply said.
These fires have claimed 300 lives, including those of seven fire brigade personnel. Five people (not firemen) have died in 2018-19 so far. Excluding the deaths of the fire brigade personnel and the five who died this year, the 288 in the the six preceding years work out to four deaths a month. Again, 905 persons were injured in fire incidents in the six years, which is one injury every two to three days. This is not counting 20 persons who were injured this year, and 120 fire brigade personnel injured in the period covered in the RTI reply (including 3 injuries in 2018-19).