During the initial days of MS Dhoni’s international career, when runs were not coming off his bat, people talked more about his long locks than his skills on the pitch. Many cricketing experts and fans alike wondered whether the Ranchi lad is serious about leaving a mark in the sport.
However, gradually Dhoni proved everybody wrong by his skills and performances on the pitch. Dhoni then led India to 2007 T20 World Cup win and won hearts of his fans around the world, many of whom were now seen imitating the ‘Dhoni hairstyle’.
“I have seen a lot of cricketers in my cricket career of more than two decades, some from close quarters and some from a distance. While some had their focus on the game, others were interested in the fame. While some climbed up the stairs of success, others only had their collars up. Some were crazy about cricket while others were struck by fashion. But this guy [MS Dhoni] was unique,” the cricketer-turned-commentator recalled in the latest video uploaded on his Youtube channel ‘Aakash Vani’.
“He had long golden hair, white sunscreen on the face and branded goggles over his eyes. If you glance at him, you would ask him to move aside as this was a cricket ground and not a Bollywood set. But here only he surprises you, like he did to me, his own roommate,” the former batsman said.
“The incident is from 2004, India A’s tour to Zimbabwe and Kenya when me, Aakash Chopra, a Test opener, and my junior MS Dhoni were sharing a room. When I would ask what he would like to eat, he would say whatever I wanted to order. When I would ask when he would sleep, he would say whenever I would switch off the light,” the former batsman went on.
“To say frankly, I had not expected such cordiality from this long-haired cool dude. I had thought he would say – ‘You leave it, I will only order’ or ‘I sleep late, you can put the bedsheet on your face and sleep’. It is said that greatness starts from simplicity. Simple life, high thinking.
“You will think simplicity means underconfidence. Not at all, we are talking of MS Dhoni. Inke dikhane ke daant aur khaane ke daant kuch aur hain (His appearances are very deceptive).”
Chopra recalled the time when he asked Dhoni to get a haircut as people might not consider him a serious cricketer.
“When I told him lovingly to cut his hair as people may not consider him seriously, he responded back saying – ‘I am not cutting my hair, probably people might grow their hair after seeing me’,” Chopra recalled.
“It is said that Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf had also asked him not to cut his hair. We bow to MS Dhoni, to his talk and his confidence. Nowadays in every nook and corner, we see MS Dhoni’s haircut,” the former batsman added.
Dhoni is widely regarded as one of the best finishers in the history of limited-overs cricket and remains the only captain to have won all major ICC trophies.