Cricket: India captain Dhoni retires from Test cricket, Kohli to take over

Indian wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni catches the ball from the outfield during the second day of the third cricket Test match against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on Dec 27, 2014. Dhoni announced his retiremen
Indian wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni catches the ball from the outfield during the second day of the third cricket Test match against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on Dec 27, 2014. Dhoni announced his retirement from Test match cricket on Dec 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement Tuesday from Test match cricket shortly after his team lost a series against Australia.

Dhoni had chosen "to retire from Test Cricket with immediate effect in order to concentrate" on 50-over and T20 cricket, said a statement from India's cricket authorities.

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.

The statement also said star batsman Virat Kohli would captain the Indian team for 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 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 wicket-keeper, took over as Test skipper in 2008 after a succesful spell captaining the one-day and T20 sides.

Under his leadership, India at one stage became the top-ranked Test nation. But they have struggled when playing away from home.

Before the series in Australia, Dhoni was in charge for a five-match series in England which India lost 3-1.