Indian players excited to have numbers on back of Test jerseys

Birmingham: Indian captain Virat Kohli unveils the new 'away jersey' of team India which has splattering of orange on the shoulders and the back. The Indian cricket team will be seen in a new avatar when they will face England in a much-anticipated World Cup clash at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

New Delhi The Indian team will be opening their ICC World Test Championship campaign when they take the field against the West Indies in Antigua on Thursday. The jerseys they will be wearing will be slightly different from those that they have worn for Test matches in the past as they will have numbers like the limited-overs jerseys.

On Wednesday, the players posed with their new Test jerseys and made their opinion known on the same. “If that’s what’s going to help engage fans with the five-day format, it shouldn’t be a hassle for any of us because it is on the back of our shirts,” spinner R. Ashwin told BCCI.TV. “For me whatever helps fans engage with the oldest and the best format of the game is fine.”

Cheteshwar Pujara said that he had seen kit numbers in long form cricket in the County circuit before and that this will help fans identify players better. “If you look at the ODI and T20 format, players always have their names on the back. It becomes easy for the fans to identify the player and even for the the players it feels good. You have your Test jersey number but at the same time when you have your own number on the shirt it feels great. I played County cricket and there they always had it,” Pujara said.

KL Rahul said that the complaints that he heard from his family and friends is that everyone looks the same in Test cricket and that will change.

“Nobody knows who’s who because all of us have beards and once we wear the helmets, you can’t really see who is batting. It’s just a bit more fun, a bit more colour,” he said.