There was a time when a certain Mahendra Singh Dhoni from Ranchi made his long-hair look a fad, especially after the dashing wicketkeeper batsman bludgeoned a 123-ball 148 against Pakistan in an ODI at Visakhapatnam on a sultry April afternoon in 2005.
Dhoni never looked back from there and in 2007, when he was asked to lead a young Indian team in the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa, he made history by leading India all the way to lift the crown. The long hair basking in the afterglow of new-found success, Dhoni held aloft the title after India beat Pakistan in a nerve-jangling final.
Dhoni fanatics still love reminiscing his long hair days, and the decorated former India captain's Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, Chennai Super Kings, on Thursday made them take a trip down memory lane by sharing an old photo where Dhoni is seen with the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina, L. Balaji and Venugopal Rao, all of them clad in formals.
"Men in blue, in various shades of grey before all the #yellove started and this is nothing but GOLD! Circa 2005, Sri Lanka," CSK said in the tweet with the photo on their official handle.
The seven-match ODI series in Sri Lanka saw Dhoni come of age and top the run-scorers' chart scoring 346 runs at 115.33 with a highest score of 183 not out, which is still his highest in 50-over cricket.
India, led by Rahul Dravid, had won the ODI series 6-1.
Dhoni has led India to the 2011 ODI World Cup triumph on home soil as well as the 2013 Champions Trophy victory, and is regarded as one of the greatest players to have played the game. The 38-year old has been on a break since India's semi-final exit in the 2019 World Cup and was supposed to return in the IPL which has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.