The evolution of India's ODI jersey since 1985
Team India sported a total of 40 coloured jerseys thus far.
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Back in 1983 when India won the World Cup for the first time, the team donned white kits. The format was a 60-over one back then and it was hardly like what it is today. Thanks to Kerry Packer’s innovations, coloured clothing was first worn in limited-overs cricket in 1978. This was the first day-night match that was played and a white cricket ball and black sightscreen also made its debut then.
However, coloured kits were incorporated in international cricket only in the ’80s. Australia was the first team to sport a jersey other than the whites in limited-overs cricket. Though, these innovations were used in totality only in the World Cup 1992. By 2000, all the teams from around the world adopted the change while Test cricket continued with the traditional whites.
India began to adopt the innovations in the mid-80s. The side first sported coloured kit back around 1985 and the jersey has undergone a major evolution since then. Over the last three decades, several designs of the ‘Blue’ jersey was worn by the team and it is quite fascinating to see the various changes that were incorporated over the years.
Here is the journey of the India jersey in ODI cricket:
When India first wore a coloured jersey in ODI cricket, it was quite a simple one. A light blue shade of the jersey had a yellow line over it. At that point in time, there were no sponsors and nothing was written on the clothing.
The 1985 jersey remained for about five years before changes were made in 1990. A slightly darker shade of blue with three yellow lines on it was introduced in the year.
1992 was the World Cup year. While the World Cup jersey is quite popular, there was one jersey that was sported by that one. A navy blue jersey had one sky blue line and one yellow line on it. This jersey isn’t very famous and existed only for a short duration of time. The team’s name was written on the jersey for the first time here.
All the nine teams participating in the World Cup 1992 sported a similar pattern with their jersey. There were blue, green, red and white stripes in the shoulder region and India decided to sport a dark and bold version of the blue (navy blue) below it. The World Cup logo was imprinted on the jersey. The player name was written in bold on the back side of the jersey.
This is the year from where the Indian jersey witnessed a constant change. Two not-so-popular jerseys were donned in this year. First, the jersey was back to the sky blue shade. There were dark blue and white lines drawn on one side and a similar pattern was observed on the sleeves. ‘India’ was written in cursive and italic.
Then, later that year, the team adopted a different colour for the jersey. Yellow dominated blue as the entire shirt was changed to yellow. There was a blue strip on it and ‘INDIA’ was written in yellow in between.
Towards the end of 1993 and the beginning of 1994, slight modifications were made to the previous jersey. The collar and the sleeves were changed to blue. The pattern in between was also different.
To the same jersey, a few more changes were made later on and blue horizontal stripes were added.
This design was completely revamped later in the year. A darker shade of yellow was deployed with a navy blue and grey design at the bottom.
After all the experimentation, sky blue was back in the year 1995 with the upper half of the shirt having a yellow design.
For the World Cup in 1996, a new kit was outlined. There was a yellow strip in between the blue and it looked a lot fancier than the previous jerseys.
Later after the World Cup, yellow was removed from the jersey. A design with white, black, red, yellow was created and the jersey featured the ‘Ashoka Chakra’ on it.
In 1997, the entire front half of the shirt had a huge ‘Ashoka Chakra’ imprinted on it.
For the next jersey, yellow was back along with a darker shade of blue near the shoulder region.
There were many jerseys tried out in the year 1998. The first one had small ‘Ashoka Chakras’ printed all over.
Then, the same design continued but with the Indian flag near the shoulders and the collar this time.
The third jersey in the year brought back the navy blue colour and it looked quite unique.
The final jersey launched in the year had various patterns of the colours of the Indian flag.
The first kit that was launched in 1999 had sky blue along with violet lines down at the bottom.
As an improvement later, these violet lines were printed on the sleeves and there was a small pattern on the front side of the shirt.
This design was further improved for the World Cup in 1999 and it looked a lot cleaner without the flashy violet lines.
The last jersey of the year had a yellow gradient in between with the BCCI logo on it.
Innovations further continued with the jersey in 2000. The first of the four jerseys had navy blue sleeves and collar with a logo on it.
For the next jersey, this logo was darkened making it much more visible.
The third jersey had a new pattern on it and ‘India’ was written in the horizontal direction.
This pattern was further improved in the final jersey of the year making it more appealing. This jersey was worn by the team in the early parts of 2001 as well.
After a while, it had one jersey for a decent period of time. The jersey had vertical yellow lines on it.
Early on in 2002, all the designs and patterns were removed. It was a plain sky blue jersey.
After the first jersey in 1985, this jersey was possibly donned by the Indian team for the longest time. The fans are very familiar with the light blue jersey with an Indian flag on it.
This jersey was designed exclusively for the World Cup 2003. The length of the Indian flag was shortened and a navy blue stripe was present on the outer half of the jersey.
The clothing that was worn in 2007-08 is another popular one. There was an Indian flag design on the right side of the shirt.
The next edition of the jersey was exactly the same design-wise but the colour of it was navy blue.
The World Cup 2011 jersey witnessed a slightly lighter shade of blue with the Indian flag on either side. There was an orange pattern below the collar.
A jersey was launched for the World T20 2012 but it wasn’t really well received by the audience. The team did not sport this jersey on the field in any of the matches.
The 2013-14 edition of the jersey was of the same colour as the previous one but didn’t have the Indian flag on either side. There was a flag design near the shoulder region though.
The World Cup 2015 saw the launch of a new jersey and it didn’t have any fancy designs on it. There was a subtle pattern of two shades of blue on it.
For the World T20 2016, the jersey featured an orange pattern on the right side top and it looked sleek and stylish.
The 2017 jersey launch event saw both the men and women cricketers taking part in it. Two different shades of blue were used for the sleeve and the centre region of the shirt. These shades were differentiated by an Indian flag pattern.
In 2018, the jersey that was donned by the players was pretty much identical to the one in 2016.
The latest jersey launched ahead of World Cup 2019 followed a similar concept as it was in 2017. But the two shades of blue aren’t differentiated by any pattern.
(Source for all images: Google)