New Delhi: Gautam Gambhir's India Blue on Wednesday crushed Yuvraj Singh's India Red by 355 runs in the Duleep Trophy final.
Despite the presence of several international batsmen, it was the bowling performance of Ravindra Jadeja that turned out to be decisive factor in the end.
The 2016 Duleep Trophy was seen as an ideal platform for players to impress selectors before India's squad for New Zealand was announced.
A large section of fans wanted Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan dropped. Gambhir deserved a look in especially after his consistent performances, they felt.
A giant 'Bring back Gautam' banner too was spotted in Greater Noida, possibly a last-ditch effort by die-hard fans of the Delhi batsman to sway the selectors' opinion.
In the end however, it appeared as though in-form players were overlooked in favor of a tried and tested squad. Unfortunately for Gambhir and his fans, there was to be no Test comeback at least against the Kiwis.
But with BCCI directing Rohit and Dhawan to play in the Duleep final, cricket lovers had one final chance to compare forms of the trio.
While the Mumbai batsman played under Gambhir in India Blue, Dhawan teamed up with Yuvi in India Red.
Gambhir continued his hot streak in the tournament with knocks of 94 and 36 in the final. Hitman scored 30 and 32* in two outings, while Dhawan was dismissed for 29 in both innings.
Simply put, Gambhir alone outscored the duo in the final.
With ongoing debates and discussions over their place in India's Test side, Rohit and Dhawan will be under immense pressure in the upcoming series.
While Rohit is likely to get a decent run against the Kiwis, Dhawan might have to settle for a place on the bench.