Mahendra Singh Dhoni retires: India captain ends Test career

The announcement comes after India drew with Australia in Melbourne in the third Test, a result that means that will lose the series

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The Independent Online

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has retired from Test cricket with immediate effect.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced the news shortly after the 33-year-old wicket-keeper batsman had led India to a draw in the third Test against Australia in Melbourne.

Virat Kohli will take over the captaincy for the fourth and final Test, which begins in Sydney on January 6, with India trailing 2-0 in the series.

BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel paid tribute to Dhoni, who made his 90th and now final Test appearance in Melbourne.

"One of India's greatest Test captains under whose leadership India became the number one team in the Test rankings, MS Dhoni has decided to retire from Test cricket citing the strain of playing all formats of cricket," Patel said in a statement released by the BCCI.

"MS Dhoni has chosen to retire from Test cricket with immediate effect in order to concentrate on ODI and T20 formats.

"BCCI, while respecting the decision of MS Dhoni to retire from Test cricket, wishes to thank him for his enormous contribution to Test cricket and the laurels that he has brought to India."

Dhoni played 144 innings at Test level scoring 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09, having made his debut on home soil against Sri Lanka in December 2005.

It was in the shorter formats where he was handed his first taste of international captaincy two years later, with success quickly following in the final of the World Twenty20 against bitter rivals Pakistan.

He then took the reins of the Test team in 2008 and under his tutelage India rose to the top of the International Cricket Council rankings in December 2009, staying at the summit for 18 months.

Dhoni also led the side to victory in the 50-over World Cup in 2011, but he began to come under pressure at Test level after India suffered eight successive away match losses and were then beaten on home soil for the first time in eight years with a 2-1 series defeat to England in late 2012.

Since then, India have continued to slide and now lie sixth in the Test rankings, with another series loss to England last summer and the current poor run of form in Australia culminating in Dhoni's decision to retire.

Kohli will now pick up the captaincy baton, having led the side out in the opening Test of the Australia tour in the absence of an injured Dhoni.

PA

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