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31 May 2023

Dhoni suspended for last Test in Australia


India's horrific tour of Australia got worse when captain M.S. Dhoni was suspended for one Test by the International Cricket Council (ICC) Sunday for a slow over rate.

Dhoni was punished under the ICC Code of Conduct after being two overs behind the required rate, adding to the humiliation of his team's defeat in the third Test by an innings and 37 runs inside three days.

It means struggling opener Virender Sehwag, whose place in the team has been questioned due to his poor form against Australia, is likely to captain India in Adelaide for the fourth Test starting Tuesday week.

Sehwag, who is currently Dhoni's deputy, has captained India three times previously, for two wins. But before the third Test he was reported to be at loggerheads with his skipper.

Dhoni, who was also fined 40 percent of his match fee, is the first captain to be punished under the new two-strikes rule when captains are automatically suspended if they commit two over rate infractions within 12 months.

His previous misdemeanour came in July against the West Indies in Barbados.

"Dhoni pleaded guilty to the charge and the subsequent penalties were accepted both by Dhoni and India," the ICC said in a statement.

"As such three was no need for a formal hearing."

Dhoni's place behind the stumps will be taken by 27-year-old wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who will be playing his second Test.