MS Dhoni India
MS Dhoni is recovering from a hairline crack in his thumbReuters

There was surprise and a bit of trepidation when it was announced the India skipper MS Dhoni would sit out the first Test in Brisbane against Australia next month.

After all, Dhoni was only "rested" wasn't he for the ODI series against Sri Lanka? There were of course suggestions that the skipper was struggling with a knock, hence the rest against Sri Lanka, but it was never thought to be that bad that he would miss any part of the tour to Australia.

However, the BCCI confirmed Dhoni's absence from the first Test, without really mentioning the problem, sticking to the "rested" angle.

Now, according to ESPNCricinfo, the reason has been made clear, with Dhoni suffering a "hairline crack" in his right thumb.

"He could well have risked playing in Brisbane but eventually it was decided against playing him in the opening Test since nobody wants the injury to recur or aggravate with the World Cup set to start in a little over two months after the Brisbane Test," a source told ESPNCricinfo.

Dhoni has been criticised for his captaincy in Test matches, with India crashing to a crushing defeat in England last time out, despite taking the series lead with a brilliant win in the Lord's Test.

Virat Kohli will take over captaincy duties for the Brisbane Test, and how the batsman copes with the pressure of playing a five-day match down under might just shape the future of Indian Test cricket.

"Dhoni's absence gives Virat the opportunity to show that he leads maybe differently," former skipper Rahul Dravid told the same website. "I still think it's going to be Dhoni's side, he has been announced captain.

"It's just a nice opportunity for Virat and a great feeling, every time you get the opportunity to lead your country in a Test match, it's a great thrill and Virat will really enjoy that."

With Kohli being made captain, the first worry for everyone is if it will affect his batting. Kohli has certainly not shown any signs of captaincy worrying him while wielding that willow, with the 26-year-old in great form against Sri Lanka.

And Dravid also has no worries when it comes to captaincy affecting Kohli's batting form. "Maybe it will take his mind away from thinking about his own batting, he will have other stuff to think about and it's only for one match," added the India legend. "Rather than be consumed by his own thoughts and scoring runs he will have to think about other things which sometimes can be a pretty good thing.

"Hopefully, he's learnt his lessons. Having said that Virat has scored a hundred in Australia as well so he's the most experienced of that young middle order."

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