By Rajaram Suresh
After all the hard time that India had to put in under the Englishmen until 1947, not to forget the royal drubbing dished out by the Englishmen when they toured a good six decades later, one could say India finally had its due, when Mahendra Singh Dhoni lifted the Champions Trophy with a big grin. Sourav Ganguly would have had fondly remembered the day he removed his India jersey and spun it around in pumped-up celebration after India’s epic win over England in the NatWest final in 2002 when he gifted the golden bat to another gifted southpaw — Shikhar Dhawan. It was the oomph factor back then, and it is now called the ‘Mooch factor’ — post the ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
Dhawan and Ravindra Jadeja have become household names for reasons that are far from singular, and arguably the most interesting reason is their moustache — the snake-like tuft of facial hair which they twirl in pride with the typical Indian swagger every time the ball clears the ropes or the stumps are castled. If two men with the moustache could bring home the only missing trophy in Dhoni’s cabinet, the mind drifts to a reverie — an image of an entire team of mustachioed men, how they would look, and the wonders they can weave on and off-field.
Shikhar Dhawan: The man’s wish to compensate for the lack of hair up top was evident when he twirled his carefully maintained moustache after smoking the fastest-ever Test debut century, a hundred that pinned the Aussies’ backs to the wall — a modern-age Merv Hughes with the bat, if you could call him that. The six-footed Delhi opener is reportedly charging his teammates for ‘mooch maintenance tips’. Dhawan means business — on the field and off it.
Ravindra Jadeja: The Saurashtra southpaw once admitted in a post-match presentation that he was bidding goodbye to his dhadi, post the IPL. What he didn’t reveal turned out to be a pleasant surprise for his fans. Be it the cricket ball or the moustache, teams are now mortified when ‘Sir’ twirls it. Word goes around that the hunt for the bride is on; with Jadeja’s current form and the manly mooch, we could expect more good news soon.
Virat Kohli: He was caught quite a few times on camera, looking longingly at Dhawan’s moustache when the team huddled together. The Indian vice-captain was also seen dashing to a saloon straight after he touched down in the Delhi Airport. For those who have been wondering why Kohli has been sporting the unkempt look for quite some time now, hope you’ve got your answer. The dashing Indian No.3 was last seen with a moustache in the ‘Munch’ commercial. Now that Indian cricket’s poster boy has stopped swearing on-field, hairy lips could very well be the next reason for female fans to concentrate on his face.
MS Dhoni: From crafting hair-raising victories, we hear Dhoni’s moved on to hair-rising therapy more recently. Over the last few months, we’ve barely seen our captain sport a haircut that was more than a few centimetres long. This is probably why he has turned to his hair-stylist of his Orange-Mane days to try and see if she could weave magic on his lips. Oh, we’re sure Sakshi will be watching. Keenly.
Suresh Raina: An idle mind is a devil’s workshop. The anchor of the middle-order got to face a grand total of 12 deliveries in the Champions Trophy 2013. Perhaps that explains why the Chennai Super Kings’s (CSK) batting star is trying to get other things on his head — or should we say face? Raina’s empty gazes (at the Graham Gooch portrait) during his long waits in the dressing room have begun to worry Ravichandran Ashwin. Perhaps the Chennai-lad could dish out a tip or two about south Indian moustaches to quell his CSK mate’s longing.
(Rajaram Suresh is a student of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering in IIT Madras. An avid cricket fan, he also explores his interest in journalism, music, books, and cinema, amongst other things)