Birmingham: Fans mocked Indian cricket bosses after captain Virat Kohli unveiled the orange-and-dark-blue shirt that the team will wear in their World Cup match against England, saying the players would look like petrol pump attendants.
Blue has been Indian cricket’s dominant colour since the advent of coloured clothing but Kohli, known for his fashion sense, was impressed by the new kit for Sunday’s game at Edgbaston.
“I quite like it. I think it’s right up there. For me it will be an eight (out of 10). Honestly, I am not saying that for the sake of it,” Kohli said at his pre-match press conference on Saturday.
“The contrast is good, the fit is great. For one game it’s fine. But I don’t think permanently we will be heading in that direction because blue is our colour and we are very proud to wear that.”
Eight of the 10 nations at the World Cup have an alternate kit in case of a colour clash and England also wear light blue, hence the switch.
But the kit has stirred controversy and prompted satire in India.
Members of the opposition accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist party of pushing its trademark saffron colour on the team.
But many Twitter users made fun of the kit, comparing it to the uniform worn by the employees of state-run company Indian Oil.
Users mocked the Indian cricket board’s decision by flooding the social media site with spoof pictures of Indian players holding fuel dispensers at filling stations.
“It actually looks like Uniform of Petrol Pump employees It should have been completely Orange coloured jersey @BCCI why you choose this Jersey ??” a Twitter user wrote, adding a picture of Kohli with a fuel dispenser.
Sri Lanka changed to yellow shirts against England and decided to keep them for the rest of the tournament as a lucky charm after their shock win against the hosts.
India, unbeaten in their six games, need just one win from their remaining three games to book a semi-final berth while Eoin Morgan’s England must win both of their final games to guarantee progress.