New Delhi, Nov 10: Joining the debate over the much-talked-about 'Yo-Yo' test, former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin feels fitness must be the criteria for selection but it could be a bit lenient for veteran players like Yuvraj Singh.
Azhar, who himself was one of the fittest cricketers till the time he played, believes a talented cricketer like Yuvraj Singh must be given some special treatment, keeping the 35-year-old's battle with cancer in mind.
"I really don't know what the Yo-Yo Test is. But as far as fitness is concerned, everyone has to be fit. If you are not fit, you don't play, you don't get a chance. It happens in football or any other sport. But I feel there are players almost in the twilight of their careers but who are still very, very good. Maybe fitness for them can be relaxed a little," Azharuddin was quoted by Sport360 as saying.
The Hyderabadi cricketer added further, "For a player like Yuvraj, he has gone through so much, his body has taken so much because of his illness (cancer). I don't think he would have passed the yo-yo test."
It's a proven fact that Yuvraj couldn't be as fit as MS Dhoni because his body has went through a lot during his treatment against cancer. He has been in and out of the side ever since his inspiring return to the Indian side in 2012 post his chemotherapy in the US. But the cricketer is working hard and making conscious efforts at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru to pass the fitness test.
The stylish left-handed batsman last played for India during the ODI series against West Indies but he had to sit out for most part of the series due to illness. The selectors, however, didn't pick him up for Sri Lanka series and successive series against Australia and New Zealand as well.
Azhar also hailed another veteran India discard Suresh Raina and stressed the left-handed batsman still has a lot of cricket left in him. Raina, just like Yuvraj, is struggling to make it to the Indian side due to his fitness.
The former India cricketer felt Raina still has time in his favour and the middle-order batsman should get a place in the Indian side.
"There are other players as well. I am a very big fan of Suresh Raina. I feel he should come back. I saw him one and a half months back and he has become very fit. But if the team has taken a decision, you need to back it," Azharuddin said.