India vs West Indies, India, West Indies, World Test Championship
Indian players have given a thumbs up to the move and said that they support the decision if it’s taken to bring more fans back to the oldest format of the game.

India’s Test series opener against West Indies at Antigua on August 22, which will be part of the World Test Championship, will also see players of both teams donning Test jerseys with names and numbers for the first time.

The decision to introduce jerseys with names and numbers was taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to make the game more appealing to the youth. This will carry on throughout the World Test Championship.

The introduction of having numbers behind Test jerseys has been criticised by many former players, who have said that it goes against tradition. However, Indian players have given a thumbs up to the move and said that they support the decision if it’s taken to bring more fans back to the oldest format of the game.

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“In a way, it’s a good thing because if you look at the ODI and the T20 format, players always have their names on their back. It becomes easier for the crowd to identify the players when they are on the field. Even as a player, you feel good because you always have your Test jersey number, but at the same time, when you have your own number and your own name on your t-shirt, it’s a great feeling and I think it should continue,” Test veteran Cheteshwar Pujara said in a video uploaded by BCCI on Wednesday.

“When I played county cricket, it was there, so I knew that if your name is there on your jersey, you feel good about it.”

Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin didn’t the move as a problem. “If that’s what it is to engage fans to the five-day format of the game, I think it shouldn’t be a hassle to any of us because it’s lying at the back of our t-shirts. I don’t see why that’s a problem at all. For me, it’s whatever is going to engage the fans and going to get young audiences back into the oldest and the best form of the game is good enough,” he said.

Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah love the new jersey. “When your number and name is on your t-shirt, then there is a special feeling added. This is big step to recognise Test cricket,” Rahane said.

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“Bit more colour, bit more for the crowd to enjoy. I feel like at times everybody looks the same. That’s mostly the complaints from my family and my friends that once we are on the field, nobody knows who’s who since all of us have beards and once you wear the helmet, you can’t really see who’s batting, so it’s more fun, more colour,” Rahul said.

“Interesting, something new. It’s looking good. When we were playing in the practice match, everybody were watching, so it’s good, the overall look of the jersey is good,” he said.