Anil Kumble has made all the right noises, put in the correct moves and brought in the desired changes since taking over as the India coach almost exactly a month ago. The bowling legend will now hope those plans will be implemented to the T, starting with the first Test match against the West Indies on Thursday.
India have had two fantastic victories in Test cricket in their last two series – against Sri Lanka and South Africa – with Virat Kohli showing he is not afraid to go for broke as long as it gives his team a chance to win matches – all the more encouraging, when you think the last Test match that India played in the Caribbean Islands, the away team decided to settle for a draw, even if the equation for victory was a makeable 86, with enough overs to go.
What lines Kumble's thinking is on, only time will tell, but the best thing that the new India coach can do is to let Kohli do what he does best, without trying to change his captaincy style too much. Kohli is at his best when he thinks positive – be that with the bat or on the field – and with India expected to beat this West Indies team over the four Test matches, positivity could end up being the key word.
India have the ammunition to beat any side in the world, particularly if conditions are even remotely in their favour, and with the West Indies Test team still very much a team trying to find their identity, there is scope for Kohli and co. to clinch another series victory, in emphatic style, much like they did at home against South Africa.
Depending on the wicket – if it is a turner, even a slow turner, Kohli might consider going with three spinners – the bowling is sorted out, so the primary focus will be the batting. Kohli has not quite dominated matches in Test cricket as he so often does when India are in blue, so the onus rests with the skipper to take the lead and make sure his teammates run with it.
The opening combination could be Murali Vijay plus Shikhar Dhawan or KL Rahul, and whoever comes out to bat, it goes without saying that strong starts are a must.
What India cannot afford to do is give this still-raw West Indies unit a window of opportunity. The fact that there is very little expectation in this West Indies side, who haven't won a Test series against a team not named Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in nearly four years, to consistently threaten the India team means, they will not hesitate to go gung-ho if/when those small cracks appear.
Jason Holder and Phil Simmons, the West Indies captain and coach respectively, along with experienced heads like Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo, will be key to making sure the home team take advantage of any slips that India make.
If they do that, this could end up being a really entertaining Test series.
1st Test schedule: India vs West Indies.
Date: July 21-25.
Time: 7.30 p.m. IST (10 a.m. local time, 3 p.m. BST).
Session timings: 1st session: 7.30 p.m-9.30 p.m. IST (10 a.m-12 p.m. local time).
2nd session: 10.10 p.m-12.10 a.m. IST (12.40 p.m-2.40 p.m. local time).
3rd session: 12.30 a.m-2.30 a.m. IST (3 p.m-5 p.m. local time).
Venue: Sir Viv Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.
TV listings: India: Ten 3 and Ten 1 HD. UK: Sky Sports 5. Australia: Fox Sports 5. South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: SuperSport. USA: Willow TV.