Gautam Gambhir's India Blue lifted the Duleep Trophy 2016-17 © Getty Images
Gautam Gambhir’s India Blue lifted the Duleep Trophy 2016-17 © Getty Images

The Duleep Trophy 2016-17 season is special by many means. The domestic tournament was played in an entirely new format. While the inclusion of pink cricket ball was a test for both the batsmen and bowlers, the tournament being played under lights made it even more challenging. Throughout the competition, many cricketers put up great performances with bat and ball and made it worth watching. Starting from big innings score to commendable bowling spells, Duleep Trophy saw it all. As the tournament comes to an end, here is a measure of how well the players did. Each individual has been rated on a scale of 0-10, 10 being the maximum. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: India Red vs India Blue, Final, Duleep Trophy 2016-17

India Green:

Robin Uthappa – 7.5: Uthappa has done exceptionally well in the recent domestic season. He received the Madhavrao Scindia award for emerging as the highest run-getter of the last Ranji Trophy 2014-15 season, becoming one of the consistent performers for India Green. He started the tournament with a 1-run innings but backed that up in India Green’s next innings with a 72. Uthappa scored 41 and 66 in his next two innings against India Blue, who had posted a 707 in the first innings. However, the player failed to get to century and build on the score more in the match.

Murali Vijay – 7.5: After his India duties, Vijay joined India Green to keep their hopes of making it to the final alive. In his first innings he scored 6 but came back in the next, scoring 73. Looking at the situation as the team was chasing over 700 runs in the innings, the 73 proves he has strong nerves but he, along with Uthappa, were expected to play like their opponents and score even bigger, given their batting is not as elongated as India Blue.

Parthiv Patel – 5: One of the senior most players, Parthiv could not maintain consistency. Playing four innings, Parthiv scored only one half-century while the rest of his innings totalled to 54. Having played for the national side and a veteran in the Indian domestic circuit, a lot more was expected of him.

Jalaj Saxena – 3: One of the biggest disappointments of the Duleep Trophy has to be the performance of Saxena. The player was among the most successful all-rounders in the last domestic season but failed to put up any effective performance either with bat or ball in this tournament. The player, playing in the top-order for India Green, scored a total of 56 runs in his four innings and bagged only 4 wickets.

Rajat Paliwal – 0: With Murali Vijay not there in the first match, India Green opted for Paliwal in to fill in the void, which went extremely wrong. Paliwal flopped big time as he managed to score just a run in two innings.

Suresh Raina – 7.5: The tournament involved many players who were in line for a comeback to the Indian Test side and it was a treat to see these players perform. Raina, throughout the tournament, remained the backbone of India Green middle-order. He scored two half-centuries, including a 90, batting in three innings. However, his batting position remained a mystery, for many batsmen above him failed to perform and by the time Raina came out to bat, India Green had very few chances to win. Raina batting so well even after that shows the potential he has.

Saurabh Tiwary – 4: Tiwary’s batting looked good but he kept throwing his wickets away. His shots were very well executed at times but the pressure of the game was something he failed to handle, which ended his innings early. Tiwary scored just one half-century.

Shreyas Gopal – 8: Amidst many odds, Gopal was one of the best performers for India Green. He emerged as the second highest wicket-taker of the tournament and finished with a good average. Gopal’s bowling in the tournament impressed many as he kept on scalping wickets even in pressure situations.

Sandeep Sharma – 4: More than the performance of the batsmen, it was the bowling of the team that helped their opponents post big targets. Sandeep took 4 wickets in two innings.

Ashoke Dinda – 3: Ashoke Dinda, being as experienced as he is, was expected to lead the side from the front and bag more wickets than 5 in four innings. Dinda, who was supposed to lead his juniors, could not do justice to his role.

Pragyan Ojha – 5: Ojha was the other bowler apart from Shreyas Gopal who made some contribution towards team’s performance with his wickets. However, the bowler was not consistent.

Ankit Rajput – 2: Though the bowler bowled economically, it is always the wickets that count the most. Bowling in four innings, Rajput picked up only 3 wickets, which was not enough to get him more than 3 points.

India Red:

Srikar Bharat – 1: India Red opted for Srikar Bharat, the wicketkeeper-batsman for their initial fixture. Though the team won the match, Bharat scored a 3 in the first innings and a 20 in the second which clearly explains his absence from the next game onwards.

Abhinav Mukund – 8: Abhinav Mukund finished the tournament as the fifth highest run-getter of the tournament with 248 runs from four innings. His 77 and 169 in the first match was one of the key factors behind India Red’s victory and qualification to the final.

Sudip Chatterjee – 6: While his 114 was a major contribution towards India Red’s victory over India Green in the series opener, the batsman failed to do anything significant apart from that and lacked consistency.

Yuvraj Singh – 3: India Red’s skipper and one of the biggest names associated to the tournament, Yuvraj Singh also was amongst those, who could not live up to the expectations. Batting in four innings, Yuvraj failed to score a single half-century.

Shikhar Dhawan – 2: Joining in the final match, all Dhawan could do was a couple of 29s in the two innings that he batted in this tournament. Being a senior team regular, more was surely expected from the player.

Gurkeerat Singh – 7: Gurkeerat remained India Red’s pillar of the middle-order. The player scored two half-centuries in four innings and finished with a total of 178 in the tournament. He also served as a part-time bowler and though failed to bag wickets, he maintained a decent economy.

Arun Karthik – 0: Another disappointment of the tournament. Arun Karthik was a name that a lot of people were looking forward to, but given a chance, he could not score good runs, getting out for 1 in one innings and 14 in the other.

Akshay Wakhare – 1: A player whose role in the squad remained quite a mystery, Wakhare came out to bat down the order but could not score significant runs, while with the ball, he bagged just one wicket. With 7 runs and a wicket, Wakhare was sure to be replaced.

Anureet Singh – 2: A case of role reversal as the team needed Anureet as one of the frontline bowlers but he contributed more as a lower-order batsman and scalped just one wicket.

Ishwar Pandey –1: India Red’s performance has been more based on individual heroics and the bowling is a classic example. Ishwar Pandey, supposed to be their frontline bowler, picked up just one in three innings.

Nathu Singh – 7: Nathu’s bowling has to be one of the highlights of India Red’s journey in this edition of Duleep Trophy. The bowler had 8 wickets from his first three innings but failed to handle the pressure of the final match and could not pick up any more wickets.

Kuldeep Yadav – 8: Can be called the discovery of Duleep Trophy 2016-17. While the bowler had already been in news for his chinaman bowling, it was his platform to test his skills which he did, ending as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 17 wickets.

Pradeep Sangwan – 1: India Red tried Pradeep Sangwan in the last two matches which did not turn out to be a very fruitful decision as the bowler picked up only one wicket bowling in three innings, including the final.

Ankush Bains – 1: India Red brought in Bains for the final game for a change of luck but the move was not quite productive. The wicketkeeper-batsman scored 16 in the first innings and 20 in the second.

Stuart Binny – 5: Binny was also in for India Red’s final game. Looking to get as close as possible to 693, which India Blue scored in their first innings, it was his 98 that kept the team in contest, but it was not enough. In the second innings, the player failed to replicate his performance, getting out for a duck.

Amit Mishra – 5: Mishra was one of India Red’s key bowlers. He however failed to spread any magic with his leg spin and picked up only 3 wickets in two innings. However, his 65 in the first innings was a crucial contribution.

India Blue:

Mayank Agarwal – 10: Agarwal owned the term consistency in the series. Ending as the second highest run-getter of the tournament with 420 runs, one century and four half-centuries, Agarwal scripted India Red’s win.

Gautam Gambhir – 10: The perfect leader to set an example by his own performance, Gambhir replied his critics with an incredible performance. The skipper scored 356 runs, including four half-centuries.

Cheteshwar Pujara – 10: If Gambhir-Agarwal started the innings on a positive note, Pujara consolidated very well coming in at No. 3, to give his side a gigantic total, which itself was enough to give the opposition nightmares. The player scored two centuries playing in three innings including an unbeaten 256 in the final. Overall, he collected a total of 453 runs at an average of 226.50 and remained the highest run-getter.

Sheldon Jackson – 10: Jaskson was the pillar of India Blue, who maintained the flow of runs from top-order into the middle-order as well, scoring 368 runs including a couple of centuries and a half-century in his five innings.

Baba Aparajith, Suryakumar Yadav : Both of these players have impressed in domestic cricket and it will be unfair to rate these players, given they did not get to play in more than one innings as the only match they played was rain-affected.

Siddhesh Lad – 0:  The match against India Green was a run-feast for India Red and the name that failed to perform at all was Lad. The player scored 1 each in the two innings and there was no surprise that he was replaced by Rohit Sharma in the final.

Rohit Sharma – 4: Rohit joined the India Blue team for the final match. He scored 30 and 32 not out in his two innings, which for a player like him is not up to the mark.

Abhimanyu Mithun – 5: While Agarwal, Pujara, Gambhir, Jackson joined hands to take the score to 707 in the first innings against India Green, Mithun scored an ordinary 32. He later took 3 wickets in the match while in the final, he did not get to bat but picked up a wicket with a decent economy.

Dinesh Karthik – 6: Probably the most successful wicketkeeper-batsman of the tournament, Karthik scored a total of 211 runs in five innings including two half-centuries. His innings were the bridges between the heavy top-order and middle-order and ensured the innings went smoothly.

Parvez Rasool – 3: Though the bowler picked up only 3 wickets in his four innings, he looked promising. The player also made sure he did not give away too many runs.

Mohit Sharma – 0: One of the most experienced bowlers in the tournament, Mohit Sharma’s wicketless run was a big disappointment.

Karn Sharma – 9: Karn has showed prominent signs of improvement and has been the most successful bowler for India Blue throughout the tournament. He bagged 10 wickets from four innings and ensured the effort with the bat did not go in vein.

Pankaj Singh – 5: Pankaj Singh has been a very good support to Karn Sharma throughout the series and was a crucial element in the India Blue bowling line-up. The bowler bagged 5 wickets in four innings.

Krishna Das: The Assam Bowler, who remained immensely successful in the previous domestic season, cannot be rated, for did not bowl a single over.

Ravindra Jadeja – 10: Joining in the final match, Jadeja was a star with the ball, picking up 10 wickets. Jadeja did a brilliant job using the pink ball well and not letting the India Red fight back.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)