Limited-overs cricket has changed by leaps and bounds in the past 25 years or so. Gone are the days where teams used to don white clothes and play with the red-ball in One-day Internationals. India donned their first coloured jersey during the 1985 World Championship of cricket but it was not until the 1992 Benson & Hedges World Cup in Australia where the fashion of donning vibrant coloured clothing really kicked on.
Since then, the Men in Blue have donned almost every shade of the blue colour. The jerseys have changed significantly over the years. With no active cricket taking place currently, why not delve into the history books and reminisce about the different jerseys that the Men in Blue have donned in the past 20 years?
Here we rate India’s limited-overs jerseys since 2000:
1. 2019-present: 6/10
The Indian cricket team unveiled their new jerseys ahead of the 2019 World Cup. While the color and design of the jersey had the resemblance of what they had donned in the past two-three years, what made this jersey different is that the dates of India’s World Cup triumphs- 1983 and 2011 50-over World Cups and the 2007 T20 World Cup- were emblazoned behind the back color.
Former Indian captain MS Dhoni– hailing its comfortable fabric- was the most impressed with the jersey. “You may have many designs, but ultimately, it’s the fabric that really makes you feel comfortable. Wearing it (the jersey) right now, it feels so comfortable like you’re not wearing anything at all. It doesn’t weigh you down.”
2. 2015-2019: 7/10
One of the biggest changes in the Indian team jersey ahead of the 2015 World Cup was that of the sponsor, with Star India taking over the mantle from Sahara. Barring that, there was not much change in the color. The shade of blue was similar to the previous jersey and ‘India’ was stitched in orange. There were patches of dark blue all across the jersey.
The logo of Star was removed during the 2015 World Cup, where India finished as the semi-finalists. Post that World Cup, India continued to don the same jersey and the only change which came in 2017, was the replacement of Star with Oppo, which was later replaced by Byjus in 2019.
3. 2016-till date (T20 jersey) – 7.5/10
India made a significant change to their jersey for the 2016 World Twenty20 at home, with an orange-striped design placed on the top-right just above the chest.
The Men in Blue failed to do an encore of their 2011 heists, five years later in the shortest format of the game as they were knocked out by West Indies in the semi-finals in Mumbai. However, the jersey has become a constant for India in T20I cricket, something they continue to don to date.
4. A jersey which was never donned (2012) – 8/10
Ahead of the 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, Nike unveiled a new kit that invoked a deep sense of national pride. The design and aesthetics of the kit drew inspiration from India’s rich heritage. The key features of the kit involved a contemporary new collar, a sleek fit and the tri-color near the cricketer’s heart symbolizing national pride, followed by three stars above the BCCI crest, signifying the three World Cup victories.
The kit was launched in the presence of marquee Indian cricketers like MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag, and the cricketers were hugely impressed with the design. “When we see players in white, we know they are playing Test cricket,” he said. “Similarly, when you see them in blue, you know an ODI is going on. Now that we have a different T20 shirt, there will be a strong association between the format and the jersey.” MS Dhoni had said.
Sehwag, meanwhile, was hugely impressed by the fact that the colors of the national flag were designed near the athlete’s heart. “I play with my heart and I play for the national flag. I like this jersey because the national colors are on my heart,” Sehwag had said. However, the jersey never saw the light of the day as BCCI instructed the players to don the same kit in which they had won the 2011 World Cup.
5. 2011-2015 – 9/10
Probably, one of the memorable and cherished Indian jerseys of them all- maybe because it was in this jersey that India realized its 28-year-old dream of winning the World Cup.
The jersey had the same design to the previous one [we will come back to that later] with tri-color patched across either side, but the color was significantly lighter- not as much as 2007-08 but a lot lighter than the Indians had donned in 2009-10.
6. 2009-10 – 6.5/10
After almost 17 years, the color of the Indian jersey became a lot darker and its design also somewhat represented the shade that India had wore in the 1992 World Cup.
The Men in Blue found a lot of success in the bilateral rubbers in this jersey but their performances in the 2009 ICC T20 World Cup and Champions Trophy- where they were knocked out in the super-8 and league-stage respectively- left a lot to be desired and the jersey was soon discarded ahead of the 2011 World Cup.
7. 2007-2009 – 8/10
The Indian jersey ahead of the 2007 World Cup went through a significant change. The shade of the blue color was a lot lighter and the tri-color shifted from the middle to the side.
India endured the dichotomy of fortunes in this jersey. The 2007 50-over World Cup was definitely the nadir as they were knocked out from the first round following defeats to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
But, post that, the fortunes changed dramatically, and it was in this very jersey that the Men in Blue scripted two of their most memorable heists of the 21st century – T20 World Cup win  followed by the CB series win in Australia .
8. 2002 Natwest Trophy – 9/10
Probably the most favorite Indian jerseys among the fans. And, for a variety of reasons. First of all, when it came to the design, the yellow colors were removed completely and the tri-color made its way to the center.
The jersey was first donned by Team India during the 2002 Natwest Trophy where Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif scripted a heist for the ages and helped the Men in Blue hunt down the total of 325 at Lord’s. The moment is still considered as the turning point for the Indian cricket.
9. 2002 Champions Trophy – 5/10
The Indian Jersey for the 2002 Champions Trophy bore a simple look with tri-color and team-sponsor removed from the kit. It was simple the blue jersey with ‘INDIA’ written in the centre with the yellow colour.
Nonetheless, the Men in Blue enjoyed a great bit of fortune as they went on to finish as joint-winners of the competition alongside Sri Lanka.
10. 2003 World Cup – 2006 – 9.5/10
A jersey that invokes a sense of nostalgia among Indian cricket fans of the early 2000s. The kit was almost the same as the one India had donned during the 2002 Natwest Trophy and the succeeding tour of New Zealand, barring a few additional black patches on the shoulders and sides, giving it an even more aesthetic look.
One of the most memorable performances of Team India in that jersey includes the 2003 World Cup where they ended up as runners-up and the 2004 ODI series win in Pakistan.
11. 2001-02 – 4/10
This was the first time that the sponsor Sahara was used by Team India. The colour of the jersey was quite similar to the ones that India had worn in the past, with yellow stripes present on either side of the team-sponsor.
The most endearing memory of that jersey is the 2002 six-match ODI series between India and England where Andrew Flintoff famously pulled his shirt off after leading his side to a series-leveling win in Mumbai- We all know what happened thereafter.
12. 2000 ICC Knockout, Nairobi – 6/10
One could resemble this jersey with the start of the Ganguly era. While Ganguly had captained India before the 2000 ICC knockout, it was really this tournament that kickstarted the Men in Blue’s renaissance post the match-fixing scandal.
The shade of blue on the jersey became slightly darker compared to what they had worn leading into the tournament and a change in design saw a diagonal yellow pattern with stripes below it.
India endured a brilliant campaign as they beat Australia and South Africa in the quarter-finals and the semis before eventually falling short in the finals. As far as the most heartbreaking moment in the jersey is concerned, it has got to be the 54-all out against Sri Lanka in the Coca Cola Cup final, months after the ICC knockout.
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