Explained: What is Dexa Scan test for Indian cricket players?
The recent BCCI review meeting of Team India held in Mumbai has announced several key recommendations, keeping in view the upcoming 50-over World Cup in India this year. One of the important decisions taken in the meeting pertained to the fitness levels of the cricket players.
The review meeting – attended BCCI president Roger Binny, secretary Jay Shah, captain Rohit Sharma, head coach Rahul Dravid and NCA head VVS Laxman – saw the BCCI re-introducing the Yo-Yo test.
Focus on fitness
However, a new test was also announced for the players – the Dexa Scan Test. “The Yo-Yo Test and Dexa will now be part of selection criteria and implemented in the customized roadmaps of the central pool of players,” the BCCI said.
“The issues of player availability, workload management and fitness parameters were also discussed at length during the meeting along with the roadmap to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023,” said BCCI in a release.
Team India is well aware of the Yo-Yo test, or the stop-and-go test, which was introduced for the first time ahead of the side’s World Cup campaign in 2019. It was stopped when Covid regulations kicked in. In the past, players had to clear the Yo-Yo test score of 17.
The Dexa Scan Test
The Dexa Scan Test will help trainers to measure the body fat percentage, lean muscle mass, water content and bone density of the players.
This is a key decision as the Indian team was beset with injury problems throughout the year and many key players like Jasprit Bumrah and Ravinder Jadeja missed important games and tournaments because of injuries.
The final call on the fitness standards of the player will remain under the authority of the NCA.
What is Dexa test?
Dexa or Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry is a method in which the bone mineral density of a person is determined using a technique known as spectral imaging. A Dexa scan is a type of medical imaging test which uses very low levels of x-rays to measure how dense one’s bones are. The test is used to determine the bone strength and bone mineral density of an individual. A Dexa scan usually takes no more than 25 minutes.
Bone strength and mineral density is affected hugely when a player is injured. When players train regularly, they have good bone health. But, when they pick up injuries, training suffers and that, in turn, affects bone strength and density. That’s the reason it is quite common to see a player making a return from injury getting injured again.
The Dexa test will act as a precautionary step for injured players making a return to the team to not incur a fresh injury as it will provide substantial information to avoid such scenarios.
It is understood that the BCCI has gone for a more scientific method in the wake of certain players hiding niggles and rushing back from injuries. This will not just put the onus on players, but also bring accountability from the trainers as well.