Why did MS Dhoni retire so early from Test Cricket?

Dhoni played 144 innings at Test level scoring 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09, having made his debut on home soil against Sri Lanka in December 2005. He then took the reins of the Test team in 2008 and India rose to the top of the International Cricket Council rankings in December 2009, staying at the summit for 18 months.

Dhoni also led the side to victory in the 50-over World Cup in 2011, but he began to come under pressure at Test level after India suffered eight successive away match losses and were then beaten on home soil for the first time in eight years with a 2-1 series defeat to England in late 2012. Since then, India has continued to slide in the Test rankings, with another series loss to England.

The announcement of Dhoni's retirement after the wicketkeeper-batsman had played in 90 Test matches, 60 of them as captain, was made immediately after India lost the Test series to Australia following a drawn third test.

"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.

The 33-year-old Dhoni, however, did not speak about his retirement at the post-match press conference or at the presentation ceremony. The announcement was made through a BCCI press release.

Despite his poor overseas track record as captain, had not given any indication that he would step down in the near future.

Dhoni's Captaincy record since June 2011 

Opponents       Matches   Win   Lost   Draw

England               5             1                 1

South Africa         2             0        1           1

Australia               3             0        3           0

New Zealand        2             0                  1   

 

Dhoni had been drawing flak for India's poor run in overseas Tests. India have won just six(6) away Tests out of the 30 that Dhoni has captained.

Among the most embarrassing defeats under Dhoni were the 0-4 whitewashes suffered in England (2011) and Australia (2011-12). 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 in 2009.

The 2015 World Cup was only a few weeks away and Dhoni hadn't played the first Test as he was recovering from a shoulder injury. While he did play the second and third Test, the captain didn't seem 100% fit. When he dived to collect, he grimaced in pain every time he landed on his right shoulder. It was a clear indication all wasn't well with Dhoni and may be he didn't want to injure himself any further. As the series was already lost (India have only one Test to play and Australia have an unassailable 2-0 lead), Dhoni didn't want to risk his fragile shoulder.

Yes, we have already lost two matches, but barring a few sessions, India have played fire with fire and Virat Kohli has led from the front. His confidence is running high and Dhoni may have seen this as the right time to leave the reins to him.

Kohli then picked up the captaincy baton, having led the side out in the opening Test of the Australia tour in the absence of an injured Dhoni. Kohli won accolades for his attacking approach. Many former players declared that it was time for Kohli to take over the leadership from Dhoni given that Dhoni had been struggling to present any fresh approach.

Harsha

Source - Quora