On Sunday, all streets leading to the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati were filled with Dhonis and Kohlis. As India played against the West Indies at Barsapara Stadium on Sunday, the fans and supporters of Team India preferred to don the replica of team India official jersey featuring the names of former captain and wicket keeper MS Dhoni and current skipper Virat Kohli.
“Dhoni and Kohli have been my favourite players of the current team. After Sachin retired, I have liked the way Dhoni carried himself over the years…and now, Kohli is carrying forward the legacy,” said Prakash Gautam, a fan who has watched five international cricket matches held in Guwahati.
Even during the practice sessions, Dhoni and Kohli got the highest cheers from the waiting fans at the stadium. The Indian wicket keeper was even left offended as the crowd and security personnel kept mobbing him to get selfies prior to the nets.
Riding on the Dhoni-Kohli frenzy, small-time sports goods vendors did a brisk business by selling the replica of official shirts – which isn’t authorized. A local seller at B Barooah Road, near Nehru Stadium, said that he has sold around 200 pieces of the unofficial replica of team India official jersey.
“Yes, we have good business in the last few days. Among the buyers, the demand for Dhoni and Kohli is more than others. There are few takers for Rohit Sharma as well,” said Arindam who deals in sports goods.
These replicas of the official shirts cost something between Rs 150 to Rs 500. The official kit sponsor, Nike, who is only authorised to sell the jersey, sells it for Rs 4,496.
“We buy these replicas because these are easily available and less costly. We have bought seven jerseys of Dhoni and entered the stadium,” said Rakesh Das who was accompanied by his friends to the stadium.