Anil Kumble was given a lap of honour on the shoulders of his team-mates
India captain Anil Kumble has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect.
The 38-year-old decided to stand down during the final day of the drawn third Test against Australia after sustaining a finger injury on day three in Delhi.
"The body gave me the decision and the injury helped," said Kumble, who needed 11 stitches on his left hand.
Kumble took 619 Test wickets in his career, including all 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan in 1999.
His successor has not been named but is likely to be India one-day captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The wicketkeeper led India to an emphatic 320-run win in Mohali in the second Test, handing India a 1-0 lead in the four-match series, after a shoulder injury had ruled Kumble out.
Delhi has been really special for me, I thought it would be fitting to finish here
Former India captain Anil Kumble
His replacement Amit Mishra took seven wickets at the PCA Ground, heaping further pressure on Kumble, who had been wicketless in the drawn first Test in Bangalore.
The veteran had previously suggested he would retire on his terms after constant questioning on the subject from the Indian media.
But he admitted a finger injury picked up on day three attempting to catch a difficult Matthew Hayden chance proved to be the catalyst for his decision.
"It was tough, especially after 18 years when you have been so competitive," said Kumble, who took his Australian wickets tally to 111 after picking up three first innings dismissals.
"I had already made the decision yesterday (Saturday), I knew I would not be fit (for the Nagpur Test) and I don't want to let the team down."
Kumble currently stands third in the all-time leading wicket-takers in Test cricket, behind fellow spinners Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan.
He's one of the modern-day greats of the game
Australia captain Ricky Ponting
He remains the only player to emulate Jim Laker's feat of taking all 10 wickets in a Test innings, which he achieved in 1999.
And Kumble said the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, the venue for his match-winning 10-74 nine years ago, was the perfect place to bring the curtain down on his illustrious career having taken 58 wickets in seven Test matches there at an average of 16.55.
"Delhi has been really special for me, I thought it would be fitting to finish here," he said.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting led the tributes to Kumble.
"He's a great competitor and every single Australian player I've spoken to has always been delighted with the way he plays the game," said Ponting.
"He's one of the modern-day greats of the game."
Former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin added: "A remarkable cricketer has retired.
"He was so hard-working that he rose above the limitations that his bowling had in the beginning.
"He was never one to shy away from challenges and when I led the team, he was the one bowler who wanted to keep bowling all the time, so much so that I had to ask him to take a breather sometimes.
"In my book, he is the greatest spinner after Shane Warne."
And Kumble's team-mate VVS Laxman was equally glowing in his praise.
"He has been a great inspiration to me and will be for generations to come," Laxman said.
"All of us are really proud and we thank him for all he has achieved and contributed to Indian cricket."
Former captain Sourav Ganguly will make his Test farewell in the final match in Nagpur, which starts on 6 November.