In the absence of the injured KL Rahul, Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane will compete for the opener slots.
Gambhir's loyal fans also slammed the Indian board and a hashtag named #bringbackgambhir was soon trending on social micro-blogging site Twitter.
Unhappy with cricket's new revenue model, which considerably slashes their share from global events in the 2015-23 cycle, India failed to submit a squad by an April 25 deadline, triggering panic among advertisers. "We've been preparing him for the Champions Trophy", chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said.
Dhawan played a vital role in India's triumph in the tournament 2013. "Hoping that I start from where I left off", said the 26-year-old.
Some of the other names that were discussed were Delhi's explosive young keeper-batsmen Rishab Pant, stumper Dinesh Karthik, Mumbai seamer Shardul Thakur and veteran Suresh Raina. Rohit Sharma, who was part of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy winning squad, missed a lot of global cricket due to a thigh surgery. The ICC has reportedly offered India another $100 million but that is yet to be accepted by the BCCI.
BCCI's current joint secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, has been given the task of cracking a deal with the ICC on its behalf while keeping the legal options open.
Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh believes he is ready now more than ever to make his way back into the national squad for the upcoming Champions Trophy, beginning June 1 in England and Wales.
Premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin made the squad despite missing the IPL due to injury.
India's star spinner R Ashwin is now recovering from a sports hernia but selectors expect him to get back in form before the tournament begins on June 1 in England and Wales. "In fact his franchise has been magnanimous to accept our request of resting him", said Prasad.
India begin their Group B campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan at Birmingham on June 4.
Speaking to IPL's official website after the match, Dhawan said he was happy to be playing in Champions Trophy and it was a reward for his IPL showing.