New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday put an end to all the speculation surrounding Gautam Gambhir's Test return.
In an interesting turn of events, the Indian board named the Delhi captain as injured KL Rahul's replacement in India's squad for the New Zealand series.
The like-for-like replacement means the Virat Kohli's side has three openers competing for two slots.
Murali Vijay is guaranteed a place at the top, which leaves the two Delhi boys in a fight to partner him.
That's where skipper Kohli and coach Anil Kumble will come into play.
Though Kumble's inputs will be crucial, it will be Kohli who takes the final call on this matter.
Virat's final decision will be heavily scrutinized considering his equation with Gambhir.
Both Gambhir and Dhawan will know that getting a foot in the door at Eden Gardens could help them retain their place for the remainder of the series.
Considering the fact Dhawan was picked ahead of Gambhir when the squad was first announced, Virat is likely to rule in favour of him in Kolkata.
If Gambhir's form didn't help him win a place in the 15-man squad, it's hard to imagine why the skipper will think otherwise now.
The left-hander's chances of breaking into the playing eleven will become stronger only if Dhawan fails in the 2nd Test.
In a sense, the Eden Gardens Test is likely to be Dhawan's last chance to cement his place in the squad.
Irrespective of the outcome, this intense battle for place will benefit the Indian team going forward.
With a long home season ahead, ruling the chances of any player out would most certainly be unwise.