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.
Men in blue, in various shades of grey before all the #yellove started and this is nothing but GOLD! Circa 2005, Sri Lanka. 😍 #WhistlePodu #OnceUponAWhistle pic.twitter.com/k5uqC1EEhi— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) May 7, 2020
Fans, who have been devoid of cricket for a few weeks now, were excited to see the stars in their younger days. While many others played the guessing game.
And when you get to seee your two favourites in one frame 😍😍😍😍 @ImRaina and @msdhoni together since forever (touchwood )May God bless them both ❤️❤️❤️Thank you @ChennaiIPL for this pic .Love you so much ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/FViqANi7QB— Moni Priya🌈 (@ImMPriya) May 7, 2020
Indian Oil Cup , I think Leo ! Balaji played a game before going out of the side due to stress injuries , andavan ashish took a six-fer in a losing cause ! Raina got out for a duck to Murali ! Venugopal Rao & Raina debuted in the same game in this series, Bhajji with ball was Gr8— Abilash Kumar (@abilashk99) May 7, 2020
CSK squad 😍— Perunjchithiran (@chithuvj13) May 7, 2020
Rare one— Ashwani Sharma (@Ashwani58190387) May 7, 2020
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 the 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.
(With IANS inputs)