India will start its World Test Championship cycle next month with the two-match series in the West Indies. The ICC World Test Championship also marks a first for conventional format of international cricket played in white flannels. For the first time in Test cricket players names and numbers will be marked on their shirts.
As India embarks on the World Test Championship journey, seasoned pro Mahender Singh Dhoni will not be there for having already quit Test match cricket. Jersey No. 7 that has been distinctly associated with Dhoni in limited overs cricket, might also not be seen in his absence from Test matches.
The BCCI, according to reports, is unlikely to use Dhoni’s No. 7 jersey. There is a strong possibility that the Dhoni’s No. 7 jersey will also not be used in India’s limited overs internationals once Dhoni announces his retirement.
No Indian cricketer wears the No. 10 jersey as a token of respect to Sachin Tendulkar.
Cricket being a commercial sports and icons like Dhoni and Virat Kohli becoming brands in their own rights, jersey numbers the two legends have also gained immense commercial significance.
Dhoni has named is apparel and sportswear range “seven” with an obvious reference to his No. 7, while Kohli has launched a range of One8 products, the name being derived from his jersey No 18.
According to a Scroll.in report, most of the Indian players will opt for their limited-overs jersey numbers. “Virat is expected to wear 18 while Rohit wears 45,” a senior BCCI source has revealed said.
“Most of the players will wear their respective ODI and T20 numbers. Since MS is no longer playing Test cricket, jersey No 7 is available but there is very little chance that any of the players will wear it. People relate jersey No 7 with MS. The consignment of numbered jerseys will only arrive in Caribbean only after ODI series.”