IPL Uniform Reviews

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Kings XI Punjab

As the IPL winds down, we bring you a series of posts in which we review each IPL team’s uniform. The good, the bad, and the ugly-VJ Andy and Guylife’s own Harsh Kalan have a no-holds-barred, no-detail-left-uncovered look at this season’s IPL team uniforms.

VJ Andy: You probably know VJ Andy from his wildly successful Channel V shows like Dare to Date, Date My Folks, U R Fired, Get Gorgeous, among several others. What you probably don’t know is that he also has a fashion/costume design background, with credits for work on films includingTashan, Bachna E Haseeno and Ghajini.

He has also worked for some of India’s top designers, including Suneet Varma, JJ Valaya, Rahul Gandhi, and Rohit Sharma. You can connect with this multi-talented youth icon (he started his career as a choreographer!) at@iamVJAndy and on Facebook.

Harsh Kalan: Harsh Kalan is a writer and freelance graphic designer based in Mumbai. Along with writing for Guylife, he has been designing logos and identities for a gamut of brands for several years. He is, however, most passionate about sports, and follows the IPL avidly--both for work and fun. You can connect with him on Twitter at @harshkalan

Harsh: Kings XI Punjab is the only team in the IPL to use a distinct two-tone uniform. What this means is that the primary colors of their jersey and trousers are different. The red and silver combo is actually quite good, and last year, when their primary sponsor was Emirates, their jersey looked just like Arsenal’s.

This year, however, their primary sponsor has changed, and so has their kit supplier. For the last three seasons, KXIP threads were made by Reebok but this year the Mohali franchise is kitted by U.S. Polo Assn. Still, the uniform retains most of its former elements, including the red panels that run down on either side of the trousers. The new kit sponsors have also left the odd red panels on the knee untouched!

Name And Number: 
As mentioned earlier, the red and silver combo works well. This is no different for the player name and numbers, which are printed in silver on the red jersey. But the secondary sponsor (the one on the upper back) logo is a big downer. The Lux Cozi logo doesn’t go well with the rest of the jersey.

Helmet: 
There’s something about red cricket helmets that sets them apart. Just like the Delhi Daredevils, I quite like KXIP’s red dome. The red coupled with the silver shield logo makes this my joint-favorite helmet of the tournament (the other one’s the Rajasthan Royals'). And by now, we’ve come to accept sponsors’ logos on the leading side and back of IPL helmets. Still they don’t take too much away from this one!

Cap: 
KXIP’s cap has two white panels that bleed into the visor. This is also a good, yet fairly understated, design that complements the rest of the uni. Again, the cap comes with sponsors’ logos on the side and back, which is not so bad since the logos seem to blend well with the lid.

Pads: 
KXIP’s silver pads also go well with the rest of the uni as they don’t look too flashy or gaudy.

Miscellaneous: 
Most of their sponsors’ logos blend into KXIP’s uniform, with the glaring exception of their secondary sponsor (as mentioned earlier). But if I had to nitpick--which I will--I think the Videocon d2h logo on the chest needs to be pushed down a bit.

Also, I’ve noticed that KXIP is one of two teams (the other being Pune Warriors India) in the league that doesn’t have a sponsor logo on both trouser legs. They just have a solitary logo on the leading leg!

Key Changes: 
None, other than the fact that Reebok has made way for U.S. Polo Assn.

VJ Andy: Finally, a uniform I actually like! Red and silver seems like an odd choice, but it works. Definitely agree with a lot of what Harsh says because the fit of the uniform is the best I’ve seen so far, and when I glance at it, it reminds me of a good baseball uniform.

The silver leg guards are not my favourite element because i think it could have been toned down. Having said that, I still wish we'd break fashion trends for cricket and try different fits because it really seems like all the teams are in pretty much same uniform, only with different colours. I’m sure we can get Adidas to start new trends just like they have in Tennis!

Rating: 6.5/10

Chennai Super Kings

Harsh: The basic look of the Chennai Super Kings hasn’t really changed over the years. In fact the only thing that has changed in this uniform is the placement/replacement/addition of sponsors’ logos. While it looked quite jarring in the beginning, by now cricket fans have learned to accept this rather loud uniform.

But the gaudy color apart, the core jersey and trousers have a decent design. With a screen-printed lion on the gut, and a few orange and blue stripes and panels here and there, this uniform comes together pretty well.

Name And Number:
 The CSK player id is printed in a variation of navy-blue. This contrasts with the yellow jersey, making the player name and number easy to read. Good job with that one!

Helmet: 
The yellow dome has become a trademark of sorts when it comes to winning the IPL. While it adds another monocolored element to an outfit that begs for contrast (save for the name and number), it’s one of those things that we have now gotten used to! And so it has now become irreplaceable--that is until a sponsor decides they need a contrasting helmet for their logo to shine through. Oh and this year the helmet has a cool (not!) ‘USHA Fans’ logo on the batsman’s leading side (the side that is facing the bowler, ergo TV cameras, when the batter is on strike). Other than that, there’s an ‘Aircel’ sticker on the back.

Cap: 
It’s a bland yellow cap with ‘USHA’ written on the leading side,’ Aircel’ on the back and the CSK logo in front. While I love understated caps, I have to say a plain yellow cap begs for some additional contrasting elements. How about a dash of navy blue and a hint of orange (as is the case with the jersey)?

Pads: 
The pads add to the yellow overdose. Ideally, the makers of this uniform should have gone with contrasting trousers to complement the yellow jersey, yellow helmet and the yellow pads. Well they didn’t, and what we have is a complete jalebi effect now!

Miscellaneous: 
The primary sponsor, ‘Aircel’ has been with CSK since IPL 2008, and their colors--blue and red--go well with the stripes and panels on this uni. Even the rest of the sponsors somehow manage to blend into this uniform. This is mostly because of the fact that the largely open yellow white space on the CSK jersey could use a few extra elements. And also because sponsors’ logos on this jersey don’t look like stickers that have been slapped on at the last minute!

Of course, this in no way justifies what I like to call the secondary sponsor or the sponsor above the name and number on the back; which in this case is India Cements. Then again, all teams in the IPL have slowly adopted this template, and sport secondary sponsors where ideally there should be a player’s name.

Key Change: 
The uni-obsessed lot might have noticed a small, yet vital, change in the CSK look this year. I am, of course, referring to the lack of ‘Reebok’ branding on their threads. This is surprising considering that the sportswear giant is very much a sponsor of this team. Reebok has made way for ‘Life Ok’ on the back arm (the one which is not the leading arm!) of the jersey. There’s also no mention of the brand on the trousers anymore.

VJ Andy: C' est Terrible! Honestly, any clinical fashion monkey could have designed a better uniform with their eyes closed. To make matters worse, two different shades of yellow have been used for the jersey and the bottoms (at least that’s how it looks).

All in all, the uniform has a very monotonous ring to it. The arrows and stripes help draw attention to a major problem area--the bellies--and the oddly fitting pants stirs up images of bad 70’s fashion, especially the unflattering polyester fabric. Perhaps NASA should consider using this colour though, since you can definitely see this team from outer space!

Rating: 5/10

Deccan Chargers

Harsh: In the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, the Deccan Chargers wore beige and black threads, and came dead last in the league. In search of a fresh start, DC shed their old image and rebranded themselves with a navy blue kit and a fresh logo (the best in the league), and won IPL 2009. However, since then, the Chargers have not done much, both in terms of winning and emphatic uni redesigns.

Their current jersey has white piping just below the shoulders in the front and also has white arc-like “things” on the back. This looks like a desperate attempt to breathe some creative life into an otherwise dull jersey. The trousers also have piping; in this case it’s dual piping along the sides. And just to keep things interesting, there is a CHARGERS wordmark on the right side--in case you forget who they are!

Name And Number:
 White names and numbers on navy blue make this aspect of the jersey above average since you want to be able to read names and numbers on players’ backs from several meters away. So, that’s one good thing about this uni!

Helmet: 
In line with the rest of their kit, DC’s dome is also navy blue. As is standard with all IPL teams this year, the helmet accommodates two sponsors--one on the batsman’s leading side and the other on the back. Of course, these logos are decals/stickers that were pasted on the helmet at the last minute!

Cap: 
DC’s got a cool solid navy blue cap that goes well with their charging bull logo. But of course, there’s the invasion of the sponsors--just like the helmet--on the leading side and the back... fun!

Pads: 
The absolutely uninspiring navy blue theme bleeds into DC’s pads as well. Colored pads were introduced to cricket to make it more spectator-friendly. However, in this case, I think plain white pads would draw way more attention to this monochrome uni than anything else!

Miscellaneous: 
Given that this uniform has no exciting elements in its core design, the sponsors' logos actually breathe life into it. This is particularly true for the smart ‘Fly Emirates’ wordmark on the chest. Even the TVS logo on the arm goes well with the oversized Puma mark--this is largely due to the fact that both these logos are white.

Having said that, the rest of the logos look like they are stickers that were stuck on different parts of the jersey. The secondary sponsor (the one on the back) looks thoroughly out of place! And as always, this means the player name is demoted to the lower back, which completely defeats the purpose of having it in the first place!

Key Change: 
Nothing discernible.

VJ Andy: To put it politely the DC uniform is BORING! It looks like a quickly assembled, uninspired outfit in which the bull logo borrows a tad too much from The Chicago Bulls' logo design! The only thing with any give is the yellow used for the sponsor highlight because I would have missed the Puma logo completely if I wasn’t looking so closely.

All in all, the team is in desperate need of a makeover ASAP! Considering the kind of big bucks being spent on IPL Players these days, they can certainly afford a premier designer--preferably one that would spend more than five minutes actually conceptualizing it!

Pune Warriors India

Harsh: After a lacklustre start to their IPL adventure in 2011, the Pune Warriors India seem to have decided to shed their black threads in favor of a dull blue uni. While the basic template of their kit remains the same, the color is different. I preferred the black threads as they complemented the secondary color, which is grey. Grey and dull blue is not a great combo!

Like last year, the three stripes of Adidas on the jersey are placed on a grey background and they represent India's colors--saffron, white and green. There is also some faint piping on the side panels of the jersey, which is not prominent at all. And the trousers have a downward pointing spear-shaped white panel on either side.

Name And Number:
 Player names and numbers on the PWI jersey are in bold white. And as is the norm in IPL this year, the secondary sponsor’s logo is perched atop the back side of the jersey and player names are a mere afterthought that lies at the very bottom, under the large numbers.

Helmet: 
PWI is the only team in the league that has only one sponsor on its helmet. The Sahara logo on the back does not interfere with the rest of the helmet. However, they should persist with the same logo they use on their cap--the warrior’s silhouette without the team name!

Cap: 
Their cap sports the standard Adidas IPL template--one solid color and three stripes on the visor. Of course, in PWI’s case, the three stripes are saffron, white and green.

Pads: 
PWI’s dull blue theme is adopted on their pads as well. This doesn’t really add--or take away--anything from the overall look of the kit.

Miscellaneous: 
The primary sponsor logo (TVS) on PWI’s jersey flows with their overall look. In fact, it even adds a cool white element to a dull blue uni. But when it comes to the secondary sponsor’s logo, I feel they should’ve not gone with the sticker effect. Instead they should have had the logo screen printed in colors that complement the dull blue of the uni--similar to TVS in front!

Unlike most teams in the IPL, PWI has a sponsor’s logo on only one of their trouser legs--the back and not the leading leg as is normally the case. But some of their players do have duct tapes on their trousers’ leading legs--possibly to cover a misplaced logo!

Key Change: 
The fact that they now wear a dull blue uni.

VJ Andy: At first glance, I think I’m watching a 20/20 match, but on closer inspection the nightmare unfolds. Ghastly combinations of cyan blue with grey? Why?! Ok, I like the idea of the patriotic Adidas stripes but in this case the designer should seriously be taken to court for such bad usage of the Indian flag!

It's a pathetic shrugging off of losses, combined with a splash too much! Not to mention it feels like the old uniform template has been made into a line drawing and children have been allowed to colour them in at break. To be honest though, I fear that might have actually yielded better results in this case!

Rating: 3.5/10

Delhi Daredevils

 

Harsh: Much like CSK, the Delhi Daredevils haven’t made any big changes to their uni this year. They continue sporting their trademark red and blue kit, which has been the case since IPL 2009. For some reason DD have gone with raglan sleeves--the kind of sleeves that are different in color from the main portion of the jersey.

But it somehow ties in well with the white gradient stripes on the jersey. The stripes, of course, are cleverly faded out to make room for the primary sponsor’s logo--in this case ‘Muthoot Group.’ However, the rest of the jersey is a fine example of designers trying to desperately fill in white space. This includes the golden piping on either side of the jersey. And, of course, the three stripes on the sleeves come complimentary (err, mandatory) from Adidas.

Having said that, the red and blue combo works well, and just like their jersey, all the elements tie in to make a decent--albeit busy--uniform.

Name And Number: The DD player name and numbers are printed in white, which in my opinion is the safest choice for a dark colored sports jersey. Besides, white name and numbers work well with the overall busy theme of this uniform.

Helmet: DD’s helmet appears to be pure red (255, 0, 0). This goes well, especially with the red raglan effect. And the helmet, of course, comes with more than just the Daredevils’ logo--there’s a shoutout to Coke on the leading side of the dome and to Amity University at the back. All in all, it's one of the less-disturbing helmets in the tournament, both due to its bright complementing color and also the relatively less intrusive sponsor logos.

Cap: This is a navy blue cap with three red stripes on the visor. The same sponsors--Coke and Amity University--feature on the leading side and back respectively. Like their helmet, DD’s cap is one of the less-disturbing ones in the league--save for their team logo, which looks cartoonish. Also, the template of this cap is the standard one that Adidas is using for all its teams--DD, Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors India. In other words, this is not a unique design!

Pads: Nothing special here; just plain old navy blue leg guards.They certainly don’t spoil the overall look of this uni, but they definitely don’t add much value to it either. How about contrasting red pads to go with the red helmet?

Miscellaneous: I think DD have done well, in general, to accommodate their plethora of sponsors on various parts of their uniform. However, their secondary sponsor (Idea) looks out of place! The huge yellow logo looks like it’s been pinned to the jersey at the last minute, just like runner numbers in marathons!

As mentioned earlier, the secondary sponsor gets first dibs on a player’s upper back in the IPL. So, in this case as well, the player name is buried under oversized numbers.

Key Change: None, except that DD actually have a shot at winning the IPL this year!

Andy: Love the colour combination coupled with those Adidas stripes however, the design is a bit overdone. I mean, you could literally design 3, separate uniforms with all the extra detailing, especially that unnecessary print on the torso! That being said though, the well thought-out dual colour cap works extremely well.

The bottom half leaves a little more to be desired because highlighting a player's personal equipment can never be a good thing! Especially if you believe that size does matter! *laughs out loud*

Rating: 7/10

Rajasthan Royals

 

Harsh: Since the inaugural edition of the IPL, the Rajasthan Royals have stuck with their royal-blue and gold theme. In a league with changing colors, this is oddly refreshing. The key to the longevity of RR’s team colors is the fact that their unis are generally subtle and well-designed. Of course, they do have the advantage of having a royal blue canvas!

When I first saw this team in action, I was not so sure about their logo--as it looked more like the trademark of a five-star hotel than a sports team. However, by now we’re all used to it and in fact, hold it in high regard thanks to the efforts of Shane Warne and now, Rahul Dravid.

Name And Number: RR sport gold player names and numbers on their backs. By now, we are familiar with the IPL’s secondary sponsor issue, which has forced player names to be buried under rather large numbers. Still, RR’s player names are legible. Besides, the numbers and player names add more gold balance to this uni.

Helmet: This is hands down the best looking helmet in the IPL--and possibly cricket! Unlike previous years, when RR went with standard royal blue domes, this year’s helmets have a very cool matte/metallic finish. The golden logo stands out on this helmet and the whole thing looks simply amazing! Despite sponsor mentions on the leading side and back, this dome is the boss of them all!

Cap: Unfortunately, their cap is not as outstanding as their helmet. Of course, you can’t really have a matte finish on a lid, can you? It also comes with the standard sponsor logos on the side and back. Plus, it has gold piping on both sides, which is quite unnecessary, in my opinion.

Pads: Royal-blue pads go well with this monochrome uniform. They add to the class that this uniform exudes.

Miscellaneous: Most seasons, RR has done well to ensure their sponsors’ logos flow with their threads. This is a huge ask considering the fact that not every logo can be aesthetically placed on a uni. The primary sponsor of this team, Ultratech Cement, gets a prominent mention on the chest but this in no way comes in the way of reflecting RR’s team spirit!

However, like all IPL teams, even RR has to deal with the awkward positioning of the secondary sponsor on the back. And just like most teams, that particular logo looks like it’s been stapled on for good measure!

Key Change: None.

Andy: RR's uniform is all about monochromatic fabulousness, even though I feel the caps could have been a different shade of blue. Gold always manages to punch without distracting. Aside from this, I always have a problem reading the jersey names as well, but that's a problem we see throughout!


Rating: 7.5/10

Mumbai Indians

HARSH: There’s no doubt that the Mumbai Indians are the bling kings of the IPL. Since IPL 2010, their trademark blue uniform has come with gold lacing--and of course, three golden stripes on the sleeves, courtesy Adidas. This blue and gold--and we’re talking darkish gold--combo makes the MI boys look totally gangster!

This year’s MI threads come with rather different gold patterns as compared to last year. While I am all about MI, I think the gold theme on their jersey is a bit excessive. Having said that, it’s the only thing that sets them apart from other similar-hued blue teams like the Pune Warriors India and the Rajasthan Royals.

Name And Number:
 While going with gold player names and numbers was an obvious choice for MI, I find it absolutely pointless to have player names on this particular jersey. For one, dark gold font is not as legible on the blue surface as one would imagine; and secondly (and most importantly) due to the slightly lower positioning of the secondary sponsor, the player name is totally hidden under the oversized numbers.

Helmet: 
While the MI logo (just like the Delhi Daredevils) is quite cartoonish, it goes well with their blue helmet. And despite the overcrowding of sponsor logos, this dome looks quite decent.

Cap:
 This cap is as simple as they come, and it has the same template as the caps of other Adidas teams in the IPL. Blue with three gold stripes and a couple of sponsor logos on the side and back--nothing out of the ordinary here!

Pads: 
MI’s leg guards are of their primary color--blue--and they go well with the over-the-top look and feel of their uni. Some players, including Sachin Tendulkar, even wear blue and gold gloves--taking the bling factor to a whole ‘nother level!

Miscellaneous: 
Given their popularity and the fact that they are in based in a big media market like Mumbai, MI has no dearth of sponsors dying to slap their logos all over their blue and gold jersey. Sure, there is overcrowding of logos here, but it’s the kind of overcrowding we have now come to accept in their uni. The fact is that Sachin’s name is attached to the MI brand--and it WILL sell no matter what!

And, as I mentioned before, MI are the bling kings of the league, and they have all the sponsors in the world to show it!

Key Change:
 This season, the Mumbai Indians have their team initials (MI) embroidered on their jersey collar. This could be a permanent fixture on this uni.

VJ ANDY: Looks like blue really is the colour of choice. Well, minus the gold that is. You may be thinking it's a bit gangster but I say gangster is another thing entirely. This actually feels like an ice-skating uniform in the making. A little bit of tightening in the necessary areas, throw a pinch of sequins into the mix and lo behold--it's the IPL on ICE!

Seriously though, there's an insane overkill on the gold. I mean, what's next? Diamante?! A newly embroidered logo on the collar just isn't enough evolution for this uniform because I, for one, would like to be able to tell the difference between teams. And quite frankly, all this blue is making my eyes go funny!

Rating: 4/10

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Harsh: Red, blue and gold is--to put it delicately--an interesting combination. Some say it grows on you, while most claim its a bit much! Either way, those happen to be the team colors of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who, apart from their gaudy uni, have employed the services of a certain Chris Gayle to get noticed in the IPL!

The red jersey with gold sleeves and the odd smattering of blue can be quite an eyesore. Add red pants with gold and blue panels to the equation to complete the bizarre effect! Still, some fans--most of them from Bangalore--seem to be more than OK with this, so who are we to judge?! Having said that, let’s just hope RCB doesn’t break out its lime green alternate uni this year!

Name And Number: 
The RCB jersey boasts big blue (with white stroke or outline) player names and numbers on the back.  Besides, the addition of blue names and numbers adds more balance to the red, gold and blue equation. So, if anything, this adds a little value to the overall look of the uni.

Helmet: 
The golden dome of RCB comes with sponsor shout outs on the leading side (side facing the bowler/TV cameras) and the back. Given that, unlike the Kolkata Knight Riders, all RCB players seem to persist with the same shade of gold, this becomes a cool addition to the already-over-the-top uni!

Cap:
 Luckily RCB didn’t go with gold caps! They currently sport red lids with gold lining on the sides and the visor. There’s also some blue lining skirting the visor. Not bad at all! Plus, there’s only one sponsor’s logo on the side of the cap, making this one of the cleanest designs in the league.

Pads:
 Since the last couple of seasons RCB has gone with gold pads. They go well with the gold helmet, but they also add to the overall gaudy appearance of the team. Still, it’s something we’ve come to live with and it only adds color to the IPL.

Miscellaneous: 
RCB have done well to accommodate their primary (front) and secondary (back) sponsors on their jersey--of course, both of these are McDowell’s No 1. Despite the odd color combination of the jersey, the designers have done well to bring together all the elements and make room for the other sponsors (on the arms) as well.

The trousers also sport sponsor logos on both legs. Again, both legs have the same sponsor--Royal Challenge.

Key Change:
 None.

Andy: Absolutely love the colours and the helmets and hats are the best of the lot so far! Slight overkill as far as the multi colored sleeves go. Someone needs to simplify it and teach the designer that less is more! And does the sponsor really have to be on both legs because as far as i'm concerned it just adds to the clutter.

Either way though, with simpler sleeves, this one's definitely in the running to be my favorite!

Rating: 5/10

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