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A visual history of how the Indian cricket team’s jersey finally became cool

By Shelly Walia, Saptarishi Dutta
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

With the 2015 Cricket World Cup barely a month away, the Indian squad’s jersey just got funkier.

Sportswear maker Nike and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) unveiled India’s new one-day international kit at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Jan. 15—designed in collaboration with the Indian players themselves.

The design and pattern will remain the same for the jerseys, but the sponsor logos still need to be imprinted. The players will first wear the new jersey against Australia in Melbourne on Jan. 18 during the tri-nation (India, Australia and England) series.

The kit is made out of 100% recycled polyester. That improves stretchability and moisture releasing capabilities of the fabric, which, in turn, makes the jerseys comfortable for the cricketers. Each kit (jersey and bottom) is made out of an average of 33 recycled plastic bottles.

But these jerseys weren’t always this cool. Here’s how it evolved over the last two decades.

1996

Almost twenty years ago, Team India’s jersey featured a huge stripe of yellow that ran through the front till its sleeves. The yellow stood out in the collar, too, in an otherwise plain blue uniform. And then, there was also a strange multicoloured runner band that looked somewhat like a road sign.

AP Photo/Dave Caulkin
Javagal Srinath takes a wicket in a 1996 World Cup semi-final match against Sri Lanka.
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
Sachin Tendulkar rests his head on teammate Sanjay Manjarekar.

1999

From the bright yellow in the sleeves, the blue jerseys then donned golden-yellowish patterns, bordered in black, on the sleeves. The collar still stood out.

AP Photo/Rui Vieira
India’s captain Mohammad Azharuddin defends his wicket in a warm-up match.
AP Photo/Rui Vieira
Indian players celebrate the dismissal of England’s Graeme Hick during the 1999 World Cup in England.

2003

Finally, the yellow was done away with, and instead black patches were placed on the sides of a uniformly blue jersey. The pattern in the front is perhaps one of the best, so far—with brushstrokes of the Indian tricolour and “India” imprinted across it.

Reuters/Arko Datta
Javagal Srinath celebrates after taking a wicket in India’s match against Holland.
Reuters/Arko Datta
Sachin Tendulkar hits a shot during a World Cup match between India and Zimbabwe at Harare.

2007

In 2007, Nike overhauled not only the pattern in the front of the jersey, but also the colour. The shade of blue was lightened—and India was emblazoned in a new font, placed higher up the chest.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
Virender Sehwag raises his bat after scoring a century during a 2007 World Cup match.

2011

The jerseys that Team India wore in 2011 became instantly cool, primarily because it won the World Cup tournament after a gap of 28 years. In terms of aesthetics, patterns were restricted to the sides, and the colours—both the blue and the orange—a tad darker than before.

AP Photo/ Themba Hadebe
Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrates during the opening match of 2011 Cricket World Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Indian cricketers celebrate with their trophy after winning the 2011 Cricket World Cup final match against Sri Lanka in Mumbai

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