India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni retired from Test cricket immediate effect and Virat Kohli will lead the team in the fourth Test against Australia in Sydney starting on January 6, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced on Tuesday.
“Dhoni has chosen to retire from Test Cricket with immediate effect.Virat will be the captain for the 4th and Final Test against Australia," the BCCI announced on Twitter.
However, he will continue to play and lead the team in the limited overs format including the ODI tri-series in Australia next month and in the 2015 ODI World Cup to be held in February.
Dhoni, who made his debut against Sri Lanka in Chennai in December 2005, played 90 Tests in which he scored 4876 runs including six hundreds and 33 fifties.
India are trailing 2-0 in the four-match Test series against Australia after the teams drew the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old, who led India to an unprecedented two World Cup titles (2007 Twenty20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup), had been drawing flak for India's poor run in overseas Tests in recent years.
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.
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.
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images