Ravindra Jadeja’s 10-wicket haul and Cheteshwar Pujara’s unbeaten first innings knock of 256 saw India Blue beat India Green by a massive 355-run margin to lift the 2016 Duleep Trophy.
But what are the biggest positives for the Indian national team from the tournament?
Without doubt, the most positive thing to come out of the Duleep Trophy for the Indian team was the form of Cheteshwar Pujara.
The Saurashtra batsman has had a poor run of form in Test cricket lately with his last century coming over a year ago. He was even dropped for the third Test against the West Indies recently.
Pujara, playing for India Blue in the Duleep Trophy, showed us why he is still considered a vital cog of India’s setup in the longest format of the game. In three innings, he scored 453 runs at an average of 226.5. The 28-year-old’s most impressive knock came in the final where he scored an unbeaten 256.
Virat Kohli and co. will be hoping that Pujara can bring his fine domestic form to international cricket, starting with the series against New Zealand which begins on September 22.
Ravindra Jadeja played just one match in the Duleep Trophy, but it was his performance with the ball that helped India Blue win the tournament with an outright victory.
The left-arm orthodox spinner picked up 10 wickets, with two 5-wicket hauls in the final. Although Pujara was named the Man of the Match for his double century, one could say that Jadeja’s role in India Blue’s victory was as important.
Jadeja played just one Test against the West Indies and saw himself relegated to being the third spinner in the side behind Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra.
One won’t be surprised if the 27-year-old plays against New Zealand as he has a stunning record with the ball in Test cricket in Indian conditions. In just 9 matches at home, he has picked up 50 wickets at an average of 15.7.
Sheldon Jackson makes it three Saurashtra players on this list and no one can argue with his selection. Nearing 30, Jackson’s chances of playing for India might be diminishing but he’s still giving it his best shot.
In three matches in the Duleep Trophy, Jackson scored 368 runs at 122.66 with two hundreds to his name. He ended the tournament as the third top run-scorer after Pujara and Mayank Agarwal.
With a first-class average of 54.42 and the ability to keep wickets, one wonders what Jackson needs to do to put on the Indian Test cap.
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