Anil Kumble announced his retirement from Test cricket after the draw against Australia in Delhi.
The India captain, who sat out the second Test win in Mohali with a shoulder injury, missed much of the match in Delhi due to a finger problem sustained in the field on the third day.
His side lead the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series 1-0 with the final game due to start in Nagpur on Thursday.
The leg-spinner's decision to retire brings an end to a 132-Test career that began back in 1990 and has yielded 619 wickets, third on the all-time list behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne.
The 38-year-old's finest hour came in February 1999 when he became only the second player - after England's Jim Laker - to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings. He achieved the feat in Delhi against Pakistan in to help India secure a first Test win over their neighbours for 19 years.
Kumble captained India in 14 Tests after succeeding Rahul Dravid towards the end of 2007, a run that included three wins and six draws.
"It was a very tough decision," he admitted.
"After playing 18 years of cricket it's tough, but I think the body made the decision for me.
"I made the decision yesterday - I didn't want to go into the next game knowing I was not 100 percent fit and let the team down.
"I had probably decided to leave after the series anyway.
"I am really proud to have shared the dressing room with so many great players - Sachin (Tendulkar) and I started our careers together, Rahul (Dravid), Sourav (Ganguly) and (VVS) Laxman as well as the younger guys.
"It's been a great experience, a great journey."
Kumble confirmed he would continue to play in the Indian Premier League for the Bangalore Royal Challengers, with whom he has a three-year contract.
"The Indian Premier League is a contractual obligation and I go ahead and do that," he added.
Wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will take charge of India in Nagpur for the series decider and appears the obvious candidate to succeed Kumble on a full-time basis.