Indian team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, alongside Virat Kohli and members of the Indian ODI side, launched the Indian cricket team’s new jersey and kit at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday, ahead of their first match in the tri-nation series
With the Test series complete, the whites have been discarded in favour of the team’s traditional blue shirts for One Day International matches. But this time, there’s a twist.
Sports apparel manufacturer Nike has produced the new kit using 100% recycled polyester. Each kits has been created using a total of 33 recycled plastic bottles.
The new uniform for the Men in Blue “is an improvement over the previous one”, Indian captain MS Dhoni told a press conference at the MCG.
“The new team India uniform is light, comfortable and packed with innovation to help minimise distractions on the field of play and that’s critical when millimetres make a difference between a game-winning innings or wicket,” the Indian skipper told the assembled media.
“2015 is a massive year for Team India as the best teams in the world compete for cricket’s greatest prize. The Team India jersey truly symbolises the passion for cricket in our nation. Wearing this jersey is a matter of pride for every player.”
Nike designers spent time with players discussing their requirements for a new uniform. According to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the new jersey boasts a special mesh designed to keep the athletes cool and dry on the field. “The lightweight mesh woven in the pants are designed to maximize ventilation,” BCCI wrote on its website.
Highlighting his personal contribution to the design, Dhoni 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.”
New Test captain Virat Kohli said it had been a “very eventful month and a half” for the Indian team. “All the boys have really enjoyed the challenge we got from the Australian team and the public as well,” he said.
For Kohli the most important aspect of the new ODI uniform is the fit combined with style. “The one thing I stressed for the last couple of years was the fit,” he said. “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.”
Player Ravichandran Ashwin was most impressed by the environmentally-friendly feature of the team uniform. “We feel socially responsible as a unit wearing this kit and doing our bit for the environment. So, in that regard, I am really proud of what Nike has given us.”
The tri-nation series against Australia and England kicks off today, with India playing their first match against Australia on 18 January in Melbourne.
India is also hoping to claim the ICC World Cup title, with the first game against fierce rival Pakistan taking place on Saturday 14 February in Adelaide.
As Virat Kohli remarked, ”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.”