The new biopic on the block is MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. Releasing today, the film tells the story of Captain Cool, aka Mahendra Singh Dhoni, from his schoolboy days to his time as head of the Indian national cricket team.
Dhoni himself is quite an enigma. Calm and collected on the field, quiet and private off it; the man always seems to know just what to do. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to his choice of hairstyles. He’s changed the way he looks so many times that it’s possible to graph his entire career based off his hairstyles alone. In fact, that’s exactly what we’ve done.
When Dhoni first broke through into Team India, he was an unknown entity from Ranchi. He came in with a reputation for being a big hitter, but his hairstyle – which was popular amongst boys from small towns at the time – reminded people where he had come from and some even made fun of him for it. Dhoni knew that the road ahead would be tough, so he kept his head down and worked hard on the cricket pitch until people could no longer talk about anything else but his incredible ability.
Yes, Dhoni kept the long hair going right until the 2007 T20 World Cup victory, proving to people that where you come from is no indication of where you can go if you apply yourself to the task at hand. The only difference is that he dyed his hair black and even straightened it to emulate his good friend, John Abraham’s, look from Dhoom. In the three years since he had made his first appearance for the national side, he managed to revive this look and everyone everywhere grew out their hair to emulate their hero.
Now that he had proven himself, it was time for a more mature Dhoni to make an appearance. He shed his long locks after the T20 World Cup in 2007 and chose a rather more sophisticated look. If you thought he had made the long hair look popular, then this style took the nation by storm. Everyone everywhere wanted the Dhoni look. All of a sudden short and spiky was the order of the day.
Nobody’s quite sure why Dhoni shaved his head after winning the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011, but we like to think he did it as a sign of respect for the hopes and dreams of Sri Lanka, which he killed during that tournament. Whatever his reasons were, he pulled it off with the confidence so many bald men would love to have.
With his captaincy under question and critics calling for him to retire, Dhoni responded by winning the IPL with CSK and then taking the team to the finals of the Champions League. During the finals, he revealed his latest hairstyle – this rebellious Mohawk. He then led the team to victory, presumably because winning is all he knows how to do.
Over the years, Dhoni’s style has settled down into a rather suave close-cropped look. Apart from the bald look and the Mohawk, this has been what Dhoni has looked like for the last five years or so. Now, with his movie around the corner, it’s time for him to remind us of what an incredible story his life has been until now.
Bonus: Mistakewala Dhoni
Everyone has their bad days. Dhoni’s decision to do his best Dev Anand imitation was the only hairstyle faux pas he’s made so far.
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Cover Image Courtesy: MS Dhoni: The Untold Story; Images Courtesy: Youtube screengrabs