India will seek to reaffirm their supremacy in the shorter version of the game as they go into a five-match ODI series against an under-strength West Indies here on Wednesday with the prime focus of preparing for the upcoming World Cup.
With five series victories against the Caribbean side, including three away series since 2006-07 under their belt, India would be looking to keep their winning record intact as they start the series as clear favourites. (Read: Ramdin Admits WI Will Bank on IPL Stars for India ODIs)
The hosts are expected to have little trouble against the lowly West Indians, who are further handicapped with mystery spinner Sunil Narine being withdrawn from the tour following his "illegal" bowling action reported during the Champions League T20. The Windies are also without their run-machine Chris Gayle, whose absence will certainly dent their chances.
While the threat of rain looms large over the first ODI, the fans would be hoping to see the two teams in action.
The home team will be keen to take a 1-0 lead at this ground where they dethroned Australia in January last year, before beating the West Indians last November at the same venue.
The series is crucial to India's preparation to defend their World Cup title next year and the players will be looking to put up solid performances.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led India are a well balanced side with both batsmen, barring the prolonged slump of Virat Kohli, and bowlers in good form.
Selectors have picked Murali Vijay in place of injured Rohit Sharma but it remains to be seen whether he or Ajinkya Rahane would open the innings with Shikhar Dhawan.
For Virat Kohli, there won't be a better opportunity to get back into form. The middle-order looks strong with the likes of Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni in the ranks.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Murali Vijay, Kuldeep Yadav.
West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (C), Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Leon Johnson, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russel, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor. Match starts at 2.30 pm (IST).