Melbourne: In a shocking turn of events, Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today retired from Test cricket with immediate effect, citing strain of playing all formats, after his team lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to Australia here.
"One of India's greatest Test Captains under whose leadership India became the No. 1 team in the Test Rankings MS Dhoni, has decided to retire from Test Cricket citing the strain of playing all formats of Cricket," the BCCI said in a statement.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Pic/ Getty Images
"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 M S 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," it added.
India, trailing 0-2 in the four-match series after today's draw, would be led by Virat Kohli in the fourth and final match in Sydney.
"Virat Kohli will be the captain of the Indian Team for the Fourth and Final Test against Australia to be played in Sydney from the 6th of January 2015," the BCCI stated.
The 33-year-old, who led India to an unprecedented two World Cup titles (2007 Twenty20 World Championships and the 2011 ODI World Cup), had been drawing flak for India's poor run in overseas Tests.
The team had been whitewashed 0-4 in England (2011) and Australia (2011-12) under his leadership. Besides the team also suffered defeats in South Africa and New Zealand and had been beaten by England yet again this summer.
MS Dhoni. Photo: AFP
Yet the wicketkeeper-batsman remains one of the most successful captains ever for India, having led the side to the top of ICC rankings in Tests and ODIs. He was in the eye of storm recently when it was insinuated that his name was there in the Mudgal Commission report on the IPL 6 spot-fixing scandal.
Dhoni has played 90 matches and scored 6 centuries and 33 half-centuries. He has captained the Indian side in 60 Tests. He has scored 4,876 Test runs with an average of 38.09. He has effected a total of 294 dismissals.
Tests as captain: 60
Runs scored: 4,876
Batting average: 30.09