Dhoni retires from Test cricket

2014-12-30 11:09
MS Dhoni (Getty Images)

Melbourne - India's Cricket World Cup-winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni retired on  Tuesday from Test cricket shortly after his team lost yet another overseas series, this time against Australia.

Dhoni, who is one of the world's highest-earning sportsman, has chosen to retire from Test cricket with immediate effect in order to concentrate on the 50-over and Twenty20 formats of the game, a statement from Indian cricket authorities said.

Former team-mate and batting legend Sachin Tendulkar was among those paying tribute to Dhoni who was the most successful Test-match skipper in India's history.

The announcement comes just weeks before India are due to begin their defence of the 50-over World Cup trophy that Dhoni lifted on home soil in 2011.

Star batsman Virat Kohli, who was the vice-captain under Dhoni, will lead the Indian team in the fourth and final Test against Australia that begins in Sydney on January 6.

While India managed to hang on for a draw in the third Test in Melbourne earlier on Tuesday, it was not enough to prevent Australia from regaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

The 33-year-old Dhoni, who is also the team's wicketkeeper, took over as Test skipper in 2008 after a successful spell captaining the one-day and T20 sides.

Under his leadership, India became the top-ranked Test nation in 2009, building on their victory in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007 in Dhoni's first outing as captain.

But India have struggled when playing away from home in recent years. The poor record includes two 4-0 whitewashes in England and Australia in 2011 and a 3-1 loss in England earlier this year.

Dhoni was nevertheless India's most successful Test captain winning 27 of the 60 Tests he led the national side in, with 18 losses and 15 draws.

He scored 4 876 runs during his 90 Test career at an average of 38.09 with six centuries.

But the pressure of being captain, batsman and wicketkeeper in all three formats of the game took its toll amid criticism of his defensive approach in the five-day game.

It was rumoured before the tour of Australia that Dhoni will quit Tests after the series, but his decision to do so even before the Sydney Test surprised many.

Dhoni, who also captained the Chennai Super Kings franchise in the Indian Premier League, was rated by Forbes earlier this year as the fifth richest sportsman in the world with an annual brand value of $20 million.

Record-breaking batsman Tendulkar, who quit Test cricket last year, urged Dhoni to target the World Cup that opens in Australia and New Zealand on February 14.

"Well done on a wonderful career in Test cricket," Tendulkar tweeted. "Always enjoyed playing together. Next target 2015 WC my friend!!"

Batting great Sunil Gavaskar said India will miss Dhoni in Test cricket despite the recent criticism.

"India will miss Dhoni big time because he gave a new dimension to Indian cricket," the former captain told NDTV.

"Over the last year or so, the pressure of captaincy was probably affecting his wicketkeeping. The amount of cricket he was playing probably told on him."

Another former captain Bishan Bedi said Dhoni's decision to retire in the midst of a series left him "perplexed."

"But that's his prerogative. I wish him happy retirement," Bedi said.

Noted commentator Harsha Bhogle, meanwhile, tweeted: "If Dhoni says that the strain of playing all forms is telling on him, we should accept and say 'thank you'."

Read more on:    india  |  mahendra singh dhoni  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Under fire Proteas coach Russell Domingo has blamed player workloads and fatigue as the reason for the national team's woeful showing in the Tri Series in the Caribbean. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.