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NEW DELHI – Mahendra Singh Dhoni has resigned as India’s limited-overs captain ahead of the one-day series against England, which begins on 15 January.

The wicketkeeper will, however, remain available for selection for the three-match series and the three subsequent Twenty20 internationals.

Indian team captain MS Dhoni leaves the field during 3rd ODI match played against New Zealand at PCA IS Bindra Cricket Stadium in Mohali on Sunday, October 23 2016. Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh *** Local Caption *** Indian team captain MS Dhoni leaves the field during 3rd ODI match played against New Zealand at PCA IS Bindra Cricket Stadium in Mohali on Sunday, October 23 2016. Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh

Dhoni, 35, had been India’s limited-overs captain since September 2007. Under his leadership, India won the 2007 World Twenty20, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy.

Test captain Virat Kohli – ranked second in the world’s ODI batting rankings – is the leading candidate to replace Dhoni.

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“The Indian team has touched new heights and his achievements will remain etched forever in the annals of Indian cricket,” said Rahul Johri, chief executive of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Dhoni led his country in 199 ODIs and 72 Twenty20 internationals, also taking charge of 60 Tests between 2008 and 2014, to hold the overall record for the most international matches as captain with 331.

In terms of victories, he is the most successful captain in all three formats in Indian cricket history.

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He was put in charge of the India squad for the inaugural World T20 in South Africa in 2007, leading his side to a five-wicket victory over Pakistan in the final.

Soon after the announcement on Wednesday night, tributes and farewell posts poured in on social media from all quarters. Politicians, cricketers and Bollywood celebrities wrote tributes for captain cool as soon as the news broke.

Sushant Singh Rajput, who played Dhoni on screen in Neeraj Pandey’s biopic on the cricketer, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, wrote a heartfelt tribute to Mahi, stating that there is no one like him.

MS Dhoni’s wife, Sakshi sent him an encouraging tweet, post the announcement.

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke and ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan, below, also paid tribute to Dhoni on social media.