India team will now be trying a new opening in the next couple of games with KL Rahul opening with new uncapped talent, Prithvi Shaw.
Rajkot: Scarred by yet another overseas defeat, India will once again seek home support when they take on inexperienced West Indies in a two-Test series starting on Thursday (October 4), aiming to get their formation back in order before the difficult task in Australia.
India has experienced a series of losses in South Africa and England over the past nine months but still managed to remain number one in the most extended format.
The defeat of the West Indies team can only serve as a booster to the Virat Kohli-led team which faces another stiff test with the Australia tour beginning in November.
While there is not much to obtain for India against the eighth-ranked West Indies, India will be trying to make an impression in one of the hardest places to tour which they have not won against since the year 2002.
As the Indian team was criticised for making too many changes in England, while it panned out, openers Shikar Dhawan and Murali Vijay lost their place in the side.
Karun Nair, who was ignored and warmed the bench in England, triggering an intensive selection debate.
India team will be trying a new opening in the next couple of games with KL Rahul opening with new uncapped talent, Prithvi Shaw.
But even if the combination works, it will not be right partnership working in Australia given the extreme difference in the batting conditions.
However, the series does provide an invaluable opportunity to Shaw and to another uncapped player Mayank Agarwal, who had been waiting for a chance to strike on the field.
On the bowling front, three spinners from India are expected to bowl. Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav and Umesh Yadav will pair up with Mohammad Shami, who will be leading the pace attack in need of the rested duo Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and not to forget, injured Ishant Sharma.
Jadeja is expected to bat and ball in the absence of injured Hardik Pandya. After a strong ODI comeback with the Asia Cup, Jadeja will be keen to play on his home ground.
Rishabh Pant will also be itching to hit the field. He retained his position in the team after a memorable 114 at The Oval in his debut Test.
Hanuma Vihari, who also impressed at The Oval with a fighting 56 on his debut, will not feature in the playing eleven as the team fields five specialist bowlers.
Although India does not have a full-strength team, the team is still capable of dominating an inexperienced West Indies. Talent is abundant in the Caribbean outfit too, but it lacks the experience required to be competitive in India.
Only five players in the 15-man squad have played a Test in India and to make matters worse, one among them lead pacer Kemar Roach will be missing the series-opener due to the death of his grandmother back in Barbados.
The others who have played on the Indian soil are Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell and Shannon Gabriel.
The West Indies will be playing a Test in India for the first time since November 2013 as they had become part of Sachin Tendulkar's farewell series.
Under coach Stuart Law, the team produced stellar performances including the shock win over England at Leeds last year after Shai Hope smashed 147 and 118 not out to set up an improbable victory.
The West Indies come to India after drawing with Sri Lanka 1-1 and beating Bangladesh 2-0 at home.
India Final 12: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur
West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jahmar Hamilton, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Sherman Lewis, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican.
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Last Updated Oct 3, 2018, 3:41 PM IST