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  Sports   Cricket  30 Jun 2019  Orange is the new blue

Orange is the new blue

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 30, 2019, 5:52 am IST
Updated : Jun 30, 2019, 5:52 am IST

As Team India have to change jersey colours for the Sunday match against hosts England.

The one sensible voice in this strange political debate was that of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor who said don't drag the colour that is a part of the national flag into this controversy.
 The one sensible voice in this strange political debate was that of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor who said don't drag the colour that is a part of the national flag into this controversy.

Don’t be shocked if Team India turn out in a dark blue jersey with orange sleeves in Sunday’s much anticipated match against England. With England being the home team, they will retain their regular light blue jerseys while Team India have to pull out their alternative colours of dark blue and orange.

How lucky will the Men in Blue feel about the addition of the touch of orange? Among sport’s major superstitions is the feeling of luck about colours and cricket may have got it after colour jerseys were introduced in the 1992 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. India have always been light blue or dark blue as those two colours were historically linked to the BCCI. Changing colour in midstream now is part of the process of to prevent a clash of colours.

Being on a roll, Team India would take anything in their stride as they are the only unbeaten team in the World Cup. If the batsmen have been under some pressure in the last two games against the West Indies and Afghanistan, the bowlers have risen smartly to the occasion. On the contrary, Team England have been at the receiving end of sharp criticism ever since they fell off from the bright start and began losing matches.

It is intriguing that the England opener Johnny Bairstow should claim that people are waiting for England to fail at the World Cup. All host teams have been under similar pressure in the history of the cup. In fact, the first major host to win the World Cup on home soil was Team India in 2011 although technically Sri Lanka was also a joint host with India and Pakistan when they won the competition in the final in Lahore in 1996. Australia emulated India in 2015.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has branded Jonny Bairstow’s claim that people are waiting for England to fail at the World Cup as “negative” and “pathetic”. “People were waiting for us to fail,” Bairstow had said after their last game against Australia. “They are not willing us on to win, in many ways, they are waiting for you to get that loss, so they can jump on your throat. It’s a typical English thing to do, in every sport.” This is an old and familiar feeling for teams under pressure, more so in front of home fans.

Former star player and now critic Kevin Pietersen’s line about England skipper Eoin Morgan being “scared” when batting had rattled the team too though the skipper put up a brave face and dismissed the ridiculous charge.  England, who have never won the World Cup, entered the competition as favourites.

India and Australia have been made joint favourites by bookmakers and placed around the 2-1 mark for the cup ahead of England who have drifted out to nearly 4 to 1. Fortune, good and bad, may seem to play a major role in the remaining key games. Will the colours play any role in Sunday's game. Of course, England cannot complain as they have their home blue and India is looking to orange as the "new blue."

Nearer home, the orange or saffron in the colours led to a controversy with political parties getting into the act and blaming the ruling BJP for choice of colours. The one sensible voice in this strange political debate was that of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor who said don't drag the colour that is a part of the national flag into this controversy.

Sri Lanka had to change colours too during the World Cup and they were so happy with the new streak of bright yellow added to their deep blue in beating the home team while wearing the jersey that they asked for permission to continue with the new colours in the remaining matches.

Tags: michael vaughan, cricket world cup 2019