An exhausting World Cup and IPL, back-to-back, left India with no option but to send a depleted squad to the West Indies, especially for the limited overs series. No MS Dhoni, no Sachin Tendulkar, no Yuvraj Singh, no Virender Sehwag, no Zaheer Khan and no Gautam Gambhir. Harbhajan Singh is the most seasoned pro in a team where some players have not only never faced the West Indies but also have only a couple of international games under their belt. We take a look at players who have played the Windies before and their record against them. (Photos: Agencies)
He is this team's most experienced player, having played 226 ODIs - 28 of them against the Windies. The spinner has picked up 29 wickets at an average of 35.3 in these games. The Turbanator will be expected to shoulder a huge responsibilty not just as a bowler but also as a senior player, and the fans will be hoping for an even better outing from him this time.
The stand-in-skipper of India's young team is next with the experience of playing 13 ODIs against Windies. Raina, who will be expected to lead from the front, however, has a dismal record against the Caribbean team. He has scored only 195 runs, at an average of 19.5, with a highest of 35 in the 13 matches.
The medium pacer has also not done too well against the West Indies. In the 7 matches against them, Munaf has taken only 6 wickets at an average of 41.5 as opposed to a career average of 30. In the absence of strike bowler Zaheer Khan, Munaf will have added pressure to deliver.
The big-hitter has a good opportunity to cement his place, that is always in question, in the team. He also has a chance to improve on his very average record against the West Indies, having scored only 52 runs in 5 games, with a highest of 40 not out.
Having missed out on the World Cup must have been quite a jolt for the Mumbai batsman but it was much needed. After making a promising start to his career, Sharma has failed to live up to the potential. He now has a chance to make amends against an opposition who he hasn't enjoyed much success against in the past. He has only 15 runs to his name in 4 matches against the Windies.
The lanky pacer has made a comeback into the Indian side after almost 9 months, having played his last ODI against Sri Lanka in August 2010. Ishant has faced the West Indies 3 times in the ODIs in the past and has 2 wickets to his credit.
India's man-in-form, expected to be the team's batting mainstay on the tour, has enjoyed success against the Caribbean team. Although he has played only 2 matches, he has notched up 138 runs at an average of 138 and a highest knock of 79 not out in the limited opportunity. Kohli will be expected to anchor the team's innings and his form will play a crucial role in deciding the side's fortune.
The UP pacer is raring to go after the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup - despite being part of the initial squad - due to an injury. He has also played only 2 games against the Windies, claiming 3 wickets at an average of 19.66. Praveen will be hoping to make the most of the absence of Zaheer and establish himself as a key bowler.
The Tamil Nadu spinner has been extremely impressive while playing for India as well as his IPL side, Chennai Super Kings. He had a vital role in Chennai's recent IPL winning campaign, where they retained the trophy. In his young career of 9 ODIs, Ashwin has played the West Indies once - in the 2011 World Cup group game that India won by 80 runs, with the spinner grabbing 2 wickets.
It has been nearly a year since the Delhi spinner played his last ODI against Zimbabwe in June 2010. Mishra, who has been in and out of the team since his debut in 2003, has played a lone ODI against the Windies. With Harbhajan and Ashwin also in the side, the opportunities for Mishra will again be limited.