Kit manufacturers Nike have released a new jersey for the Indian cricket team ahead of the 2015 World Cup, which is set to begin in less than a month’s time in Australia and New Zealand.
Similar shade of blue
Since Nike became kit sponsors for the Indian cricket team, they have made it a habit of releasing new jerseys before the start of the 50-over mega-event. In 2007, they had famously overhauled the jersey completely by changing the colour to a very light shade of blue.
This time, though, the colour of the jersey remains the same, but there seems to be a slight change in the pattern on the front. Interestingly, the kit is made out of recycled material – an average of 33 plastic bottles have been used to make each pair of jersey and bottoms.
The Indian team will wear the jersey during the tri-series against England and Australia, which begins tomorrow, with the MS Dhoni-led side scheduled to play their first match on January 18 against the Aussies.
The Indian team will be hoping to repeat their heroics from the 2011 World Cup, when they won cricket’s premier tournament after a gap of 28 years. India begin their World Cup campaign with a match against arch-rivals Pakistan on February 15, followed by a match against tournament favourites South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Dhoni and Kohli pleased
Dhoni, who will lead the team at the tournament, said that he was pleased with the new jersey and called it an improvement over the one previously worn by his side.
“There has been constant interaction between Nike and the players. We all gave them our inputs and a lot of them have been passed. The product was already great and this is just an improvement on the previous one. It looks good,” the Ranchi-born cricketer said.
“The front part – the strands that are drawn in the front are out of our national flag (the 24 lines in the Ashok Chakra) and it gives a bit of a feel to it. You know what you’re supposed to do when you’re playing for your country but this touch just reiterates the fact. I am glad that Nike has put it in the shirt.”
India’s vice-captain Virat Kohli was also happy with the new jersey and spoke about how Nike have made changes which were suggested by him over the last couple of years.
“One thing that I have stressed on for the last couple of years is the fit. I like the shirt that fits nice and snug. That’s something Nike has done this time around and I am really pleased it’s been done. As sportsmen if you’re fit, you should have clothes that make you look good as well,” the 26-year-old said.
Kohli, who was recently appointed as the permanent captain of the Indian Test side, also said that a new jersey doesn’t make any difference when it comes to his will to win as he hopes for a repeat of what happened in the 2011 event.
“A second consecutive World Cup win would be a nice milestone to have in the new jersey. That’s what we will aim for in the next two months and have a vision for. It doesn’t matter if the colour of the jersey changes as long there is the India logo on it. It is the reason why we play cricket. It is what keeps me and the boys going,” he added.
With the Men in Blue widely acknowledged as the most popular cricket team in the world, the BCCI and Nike are all set to gain a lot of revenue from this jersey.
Pakistan’s new jersey
Meanwhile, Pakistan too have released a new jersey ahead of the World Cup. They’ve gone with a heavily lightened version of green, which has not gone well with a lot of fans back home.
Pakistan were crowned world champions the last time the tournament was held down under and Misbah-ul-Haq will be hoping his team can repeat the heroics of Imran Khan and co. over the next couple of months.
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