Yo-Yo Test in Cricket: The Ultimate Fitness Challenge

In the fast paced modern format of cricket, the sport of strategy and athleticism, fitness is of utmost importance. The game demands players to not only have exceptional skills but also be at their peak physical condition and have the stamina to endure intense matches. With the rise of cricket as a year-round sport, players are required to juggle multiple cricket formats, making overall fitness even more important for consistent performances. A player’s fitness level directly influences their agility and stamina on the field, impacting their ability to sprint between wickets, dive for catches and also be an inspiration for other players on the field. Also, fitness is not just about raw strength, it is about maintaining mental sharpness to make those split-second decisions and staying away from all kinds of cricket injuries. Only the fittest can do this at the highest level. The sport, just like a battlefield is truly the survival of the fittest. But how do we measure which player is fit and can play a majority of the matches and give his best for the team? This is where the yo-yo test comes in, a fitness assessment that helps us determine the fitness level of sports players.

Virat Kohli Runninb Between the Wickets

Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

In this chapter, let’s know more about the Yo-Yo Test in Cricket, the history, how it works and the Yoyo test scores for the Indian cricket team players. 

What is the Yo-Yo Fitness Test in Cricket?

The Yo-Yo test is a fitness challenge created by Jens Bangsbo, a Danish football physiologist. It is a multi-stage running aerobic fitness challenge designed to assess an athlete's capacity to maintain athletic performance over an extended length of time. It has been a regular fitness assessment standard in European football countries.

Virat Kohli doing the YoYo Fitness Test in Cricket

Credit: The Statesman

The Indian Cricket Team adopted the yoyo endurance test under the reign of Virat Kohli as the captain and Anil Kumble as the coach. However, this method is not new to the game of cricket, England Team, New Zealand, and the Australian team already use it as part of their player preparation.

How to take the Yo Yo Intermittent Test for Cricket Fitness:

The Yo yo Test in Cricket

You can take this aerobic test too, here’s how:

  • Assume A, B, and C are the three cones. The distances between A and B are 5 meters, while between B and C is 20 meters
  • A beep signals the you to start running from cone B, and you have to get to cone C before the second beep. You must then come back to cone B before the third beep. 
  • This one cycle is called a shuttle. You then have to walk from B to A and back to B. You get 10 seconds to recover during this phase, in between every shuttle.
  • There are different speed levels that you get to complete one shuttle. The starting speed level is 5 and with each level, the time between each beep goes less. 
  • You must complete one shuttle on each of stages 5 and 9. The number of shuttles increases starting at level 11; there are two shuttles for level 11, three for level 12, four for level 13, and eight shuttles for levels 14 to 23.
  • You have to run faster as the levels rise since at each increasing level, the time between every beep decreases. 
  • A 'warning' will be given to the player if he does not reach a cone before the beep. You can continue until you get 3 warnings. After the 3 warnings, you get your Yo-Yo test is over.
  • The yoyo assessment is truly the ultimate test of a player's stamina and physical condition.

How is the Yo-Yo test score calculated?

Once you’ve failed to complete a shuttle on three occasions, your challenge is over. All of the procedures are computer-based, and the outcomes are documented. If you complete 2 shuttles at speed level 14, your comes to 14.2. This is how the Yoyo test scores are calculated. 

Also Read: How to Calculate Batting Average | How to Calculate Strike Rate

Yoyo Test Benchmark for different cricket teams:

The Indian Cricket Team players MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Axar Patel take Yo Yo Testth

Credit: The Quint

Different cricket boards have different benchmarks for their players to clear to be considered fit for a series. The Indian Cricket Team has set the benchmark at 17.1, which means 1 shuttle at speed level 17. The Pakistan Team has it at 17.4, West Indies at 19.0 and New Zealand have it at 20.1.

Which Cricket Player has the highest Yo-Yo Test Score?

Alastair Cook takes the Yo yo test

Credit: DNA India

Sr No



Yo-Yo Test Score


Alastair Cook




Al Amin Hossain




Shan Masood




Jonny Bairstow




Asad Shafiq




Joe Root




Mayank Dangar




Manish Pandey




Kagiso Rabada

South Africa



Mohammad Rizwan



*This data is only from verified sources. A lot of cricket boards don’t allow sharing the scores of their players with the public, and that’s why you don’t see some amazing players like Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, and others on this list.

Do we really need the YoYo Test?

Since being adopted by many nations worldwide, there has always been a debate whether we need the Yoyo test as a fitness assessment for cricket players or not. For the Indian Cricket Team, a player can only be declared fit for selection after he clears the test benchmark and many experts feel this is the wrong approach. Now comes the question about the ability of the player. If a player is extremely talented but fails to clear this test, should he still be made available for selection?

A similar case happened with Sarfaraz Khan in India, where he scored tons of runs in the domestic circuit and the ICT was going through a bad time with the middle order. Many experts argued that he should be called up for the national side even though he could not clear the fitness test. But that did not happen. The counterargument was that it's not as hard as it seems and that any elite athlete can pass it with ease. Furthermore, age isn't really a factor, as 36-year-old MS Dhoni and even the 39-year-old bowler Ashish Nehra could clear the benchmark in their times. It is even believed that Virat Kohli clears level 21 on this test. So, in our opinion, keeping the importance of fitness, we should take the test as standard and move ahead only with players who can clear it. 


What is the score of Virat Kohli in yo-yo test?

Virat Kohli recently posted a story on Instagram stating that he cleared the test with a score of 17.2 before the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. But in the past, he has even scored 19.1 and it is also speculated that he has cleared speed level 21 too.

What was the score of Shubman Gill on the yoyo test?

Shubhman Gill scored 18.7 in this fitness test before the Asia Cup 2023, which was the highest amongst all players in the Indian Team.

Is 17.2 a good yoyo test score?

17.2 is a pretty decent score in the yoyo assessment. But there are player who have scored 20, so there's always a limit that you can push.

Now that you have read about the YoYo Fitness Test in Cricket, here's some more articles we recommend reding:

Cricket Exercises and Workouts | Fast Bowling Workouts and Exercises | Batting Tips and Techniques | How to hit big sixes

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