Sachin Tendulkar has turned down the chance to become India's Test captain.
Tendulkar's decision to reject the captaincy opens the door for Dhoni
The legendary batsman, 34, was skipper for two spells from 1996-2000 but stood down after only four wins in 25 Tests.
He was offered a third stint to succeed Rahul Dravid, who quit in September, but told TV channel CNN-IBN: "I don't feel right about it at the moment."
India's selectors, who will name their choice on Thursday, are now likely to go for Mahendra Dhoni, 26, who is captain of the one-day team.
Dhoni led India during their World Twenty20 triumph in South Africa in September.
If appointed, his first Test series as skipper will be against Pakistan, which begins after the ongoing one-day series between the teams finishes.
The wicket-keeper/batsman is seen in some quarters as too inexperienced for the job in the longer format, having featured in only 20 Tests.
Former India coach Greg Chappell said: "He is doing his apprenticeship in the limited-overs forms of the game. It won't be long before I think he is ready. Probably another 12 months or more."
But Niranjan Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, hinted that Dhoni would be handed the reins following advice from Tendulkar.
"He was of the view that the Indian team was doing extremely well and the board must think of appointing a younger person as the captain looking at the future of the team," Shah said.