After almost 447 days, cricket fans got a glimpse of Thala MS Dhoni, the iconic old man of Indian cricket whose retirement from international cricket left a billion fans heartbroken. Dhoni’s last cricketing act was getting run-out in the ICC World Cup 2019 and many wondered whether we’d see him again.
But he was back, muscles rippling far more than his younger counterparts whose holiday waistlines made some wonder if the Indian Premier League ought to be re-christened the Indian Paunch League.
Dhoni was his usual calm self, even though he did get a DRS call wrong which many just put down the anomaly that’s 2020. However, he did remain runout and pulled off some unique Dhonisms by sending Sam Curran and Ravindra Jadeja ahead of himself in the batting order.
He might not have scored a single run, but Dhoni did manage to get the online crowd agog with his new beard and muscle look, which looked like he had stepped out of a spaghetti Western.
Over the years, Dhoni has sported many iconic looks including going bald, pulling of a Mohawk, a Hitler youth, the Old Man Clooney stubble, and even long hair.
So, what exactly was his look? It would appear that Dhoni formed a facial hair amalgamation of two iconic beard looks – Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark sculpted goatee and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Mutton Chops.
To understand the look, one needs to understand the two looks separately.
Tony Stark’s goatee is a combination of a Van Dyke – sculpted goatee and a gun-slinger moustache. However, what Stark does differently is he throws in a bit of a Balbo which is a beard connecting one’s sideburns to one’s goatee. Killmonger too had a Balbo in Black Panther.
Stark, however, chops off the sideburns and connects the soul patch to the goatee with sharp triangles that’s almost impossible to replicate with a safety razor. Trust this author, he has tried numerous times in this salons-closed-no lockdown dystopia.
Second, he adds Wolverine’s mutton chops which is a simple shaving off the goatee area and the moustache but what Dhoni does is that he keeps it.
The Dhoni Look
What Dhoni does in this beard is he keeps the sculpted goatee part of Tony Stark’s Balbo but adds his own touch by shaving close to the mutton chops so there’s a gap between his sidelocks and the beard. He also keeps it connected to his moustache, unlike Tony Stark’s goatee where the moustache is not linked to the goatee by a bridge.
What to tell your barber?
If you do manage to find a barber tell him to give you a Frenchie while connecting it to the sideburns. Later, ask him to shave part of the sideburn and keep a bit if the sculpted goatee that comes back up. However, proceed with caution. Most of us are not MS Dhoni and we will not pull it off very well. We just don’t have the Thala swag.