Dhoni?s lucky charm: His mane

Dhoni considers his mane as his lucky charm and knew that it would made him famous.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2006 23:39 IST

Obsession of people in the country and abroad with Mahendra Singh Dhoni's mane has come as a pleasant surprise to his parlour staff and friends as they could hardly imagine the youngster's penchant to experiment with his hair would invite so many comments.

"We didn't know that the person having his hair-cuts in our parlour would one day become famous not only for his cricketing skill, but also for his hair-cut," said one of the employees of the 'Manly' parlour in Ranchi, which was last visited by Dhoni after the Sri Lanka tour.

Little did the parlour staff imagine that the long locks of Indian cricket's new icon would also invite attention along with his scintillating performance in Pakistan where he played a pivotal role in India's 4-1 victory over Pakistan along with Yuvraj Singh.

Dhoni's close friend Goutam Upadhayay said, the dashing stumper-batsman now gets his hair cut done at a parlour in Bangalore but frequented the parlour in Ranchi in the past.

Upadhyay, his school friend and neighbour, said "I also follow my friend's hair-style. I was thrilled when I heard those memorable words from a country's head about my dear friend's hair-style," he said referring to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's praise for Dhoni's game and his hair-style immediately after the third one-dayer.

Upadhyay, who plays for the Mecon-XI, cherishes the hope that following Dhoni's hair-style would also bring him lucky charm in his sporting career.

"Wait, this long hair would one day bring me fame", Dhoni said three years back when asked why he has grown hair so long, the cricketer's journalist friend Ajay Kumar recounts.

Recounting how Dhoni felt low when he had to tonsure during his mundane (a ritual), Ajay Kumar said "after that he started growing long hair ... Till date he considers long hair as a lucky charm."

Upadhya described Dhoni's feat during an inter-school final in past. "He scored 213 (26x4, 7x6) and put up an opening partnership of 378 with Shabir Hussain (now playing Ranji), against Central School in the 40-over final," Upadhyya, who was also in the team, recalls.

Asked how a lean-looking Dhoni has gained raw-power in playing strokes, Chanchal Bhattacharya, who was Dhoni's coach in the latter's formative years, says "his eye sight is sharp and this helps him pick up balls."

Bhattacharya was the man to inspire Dhoni to discard the goal-keeper's gloves and don the wicket-keeper's gloves during a school game.

First Published: Feb 26, 2006 13:34 IST