The Indian cricket team has extended a special gesture towards the Armed Forces and the martyrs in the Pulwama attack as captain Virat Kohli announced at the toss that the all the team members will be donating their match fees to the National Defence Fund.
The Indian captain wore a special cap too and it was an initiative by the BCCI to pay their tributes to the CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the Pulwama terror attack on February 14.
"This is to pay respects to the martyrs of the Pulwama attack and their families. All the players in the team have decided to donate their match fees of this particular game to the National Defence Fund. I, as the captain of the team, urge everyone in the country to do the same - donate how much ever they can to the National Defence Fund and help in the education and the well-being of the family and the children of those who lost their lives in the attack so it is a very special cap and a very game today," Kohli said at the toss which he won and elected to bowl first.
#TeamIndia will be sporting camouflage caps today as mark of tribute to the loss of lives in Pulwama terror attack and the armed forces— BCCI (@BCCI) March 8, 2019
And to encourage countrymen to donate to the National Defence Fund for taking care of the education of the dependents of the martyrs #JaiHind pic.twitter.com/fvFxHG20vi
Virat Kohli led out the entire Indian team to the field of play and all the members were sporting the special cap in the third ODI at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium in Ranchi. Captain Kohli said at the toss that India is going into the game unchanged as they look to seal the five-match series in the third ODI itself.
"It's been a pleasant surprise, these couple of games. We're proud of the way we played in the first two games. We have been used to 300-350 games but to have those old fashioned 250 games is really pleasing. It's important to have this quality because in the second half of the World Cup, it might come to these skills. We don't mind grinding out wins in such fashion," Kohli said at the toss.
The unchanged team means that Rishabh Pant continues to be on the sidelines as his spot has come under much deliberation. The 21-year-old is competing with Dinesh Karthik for the second wicketkeeper's role and only one of the two will find a place in the World Cup squad.
This series is India's final international assignment before the World Cup which begins in May. Following the fifth ODI on March 13, the players will part ways and play for their respective franchises in the IPL. India's first match in the World Cup is against South Africa at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on June 5.