India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has retired from Test cricket, effective immediately.
The announcement was made via a press release just hours after the third Commonwealth Bank Test match at the MCG ended in a draw, returning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to Australia, who are 2-0 up with one Test to play.
Dhoni was in an upbeat mood when he faced the media after play despite the result, but he made no reference to his future in the game.
Around 45 minutes after his press conference concluded, the BCCI issued a statement announcing his retirement.
The BCCI also confirmed Virat Kohli would captain India for the fourth Test of this series, starting in Sydney on January 6.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha is set to replace Dhoni in the side for the fourth Test, as he did when the skipper missed the first match in Adelaide with a thumb injury.
Dhoni will continue to play one-day internationals and Twenty20 cricket for India. The BCCI statement from secretary Sanjay Patel said "Dhoni has decided to retire from Test cricket citing the strain of playing all formats of cricket."
Dhoni shares a laugh with Warner and Ashwin as he leaves the Test arena // Getty Images
The 33-year-old will still play a major role for India in Australia this summer, with the Carlton Mid ODI Tri-Series and the ICC Cricket World Cup to follow the Test series.
The BCCI's statement lauded Dhoni as "one of India's greatest Test captains".
"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," Patel said in a statement.
Dhoni called 'tails' at his final coin toss - the coin landed heads // Getty Images
Dhoni captained his country 60 times in Tests for 27 wins, 18 losses and 15 draws and led them to the world No.1 Test ranking in 2009, a position they held for two years.
He retires with a Test record that includes 4876 runs from 90 matches, with six centuries, 33 fifties and an average of 38.09. Dhoni scored 3454 runs as Test captain – the most by any Indian captain, overtaking Sunil Gavaskar's record of 3449 on his final day of Test cricket.
His last innings as a Test player was a vitally important one; an unbeaten 24 from 39 balls to help India hold out for a draw against a rampant Australia on the fifth afternoon at the MCG.
Dhoni set a new Indian wicketkeeping record with nine dismissals in his final Test // Getty Images
He also took 256 catches and 38 stumpings in his career. His nine dismissals in his final match (eight catches and one stumping) is a record for an Indian wicketkeeper.
While a dominant player at home, Dhoni often struggled with the bat outside India.
Five of his six Test centuries came in India, including a career-best 224 against Australia in Chennai last year, while his average dropped to 29.79 outside the subcontinent.
The Chennai Super Kings captain will continue to play limited overs cricket for India // Getty Images
His captaincy record was also far superior in India than it was away from home; he won only six of 30 matches as captain outside India.
Despite his impressive overall record, Dhoni had come under increasing scrutiny for his captaincy in this series.
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell was scathing in his criticism of Dhoni for his tactics early on day two of the Boxing Day Test, while former India captain Sourav Ganguly had said that while Dhoni's leadership in ODI cricket was exceptional, he had fallen away as a Test skipper.