Virat Kohli India
India talisman Virat Kohli will be desperate to find some batting form after a nightmare tour of EnglandReuters

India vs West Indies always promises plenty of fun, seeing as the players in both teams enjoy a great camaraderie off the field. That, of course, does not mean that this India vs West Indies ODI series is not important – from the 2015 World Cup perspective, both teams will take the series extremely seriously, and will look to build some momentum ahead of their title tilts in Australia and New Zealand.

The home team's squad is all about the batsmen, who will look to dominate the far from scary West Indies bowlers in the five-match ODI series.

Ajinkya Rahane will again open the batting for India alongside Shikhar Dhawan, after Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the series with a shoulder injury picked up in the second ODI against England over a month back.

Rahane did quite well at the top, scoring runs at a canter and some of them big ones too. At the other end, he will have a much more assured Dhawan, who clearly enjoys himself a lot more in sub-continent conditions.

Apart from Dhawan, another batsman keen to make an impression will be Virat Kohli, who suffered a nightmare England tour, where runs ran away from him quicker than Usain Bolt at a 100-metre dash.

Kohli has been India's best batsman, particularly in the limited-overs game, over the past couple of years, and India need an in-form Virat Kohli ahead of their 2015 World Cup title defence.

Another batsman who will have plenty of eyes on him will be Suresh Raina, who just seems to be getting better and better in the shorter formats of cricket.

Raina made a superlative hundred in the CLT20 2014 final, a knock which helped CSK easily beat KKR for the title. The left-hander will look to continue that brilliant form against the West Indies, who will be wary of the 27-year-old's ability to take the game away from them in the blink of an eye.

MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja will resume their finishing duties, while it will be up to Ambati Rayudu to cement his place in the middle order for India, especially since he does not have any real competition in the squad for this ODI series.

From the bowling perspective, India will have a new face in their team in the shape of Kuldeep Yadav, who will look to make an impression with his left-arm leg-spinners. The chinaman bowler impressed for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the CLT20 2014, and has been given an opportunity to shine for India with R Ashwin rested.

Amit Mishra, though, will hope to play the second spinner's role behind Jadeja, and the leg-spinner will also want to make as much of an impression as possible, as the window towards making that 2015 World Cup squad becomes smaller and smaller.

Sunil Narine West Indies
Sunil Narine will be a huge miss for the West IndiesReuters

For the West Indies, their big loss will be Sunil Narine. The mystery spinner is at his best in the T20 format, but also has a pretty good record in ODIs, where his economy rate, in particular, is outstanding.

Narine also gives you that wicket-taking option, and West Indies skipper Dwayne Bravo will undoubtedly miss his fellow Trinidadian's services.

The spinner was called back to the West Indies by the board after he was reported for a suspect action twice during the CLT20 2014. Narine would have been eligible to bowl in this series against India, but the WICB, perhaps rightly, decided to protect their asset from further trouble.

"He has just got to go home, think about it and come back," West Indies team manager Richie Richardson was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. "And I know that that's his approach, that's his attitude. He would obviously be disappointed but he is not down.

"Knowing the character that he is, he is not going to let that get him down. He is going to go back and work. He is going to come back with a bang. And he is going to come back an even better bowler.

"These things will happen and it's how well you handle these crises that proves the strength of character that you have. I know he is a very strong individual. Might seem very easy-going, very quiet but deep down he is a very confident, strong individual."

The West Indies bowling attack is certainly weaker without Narine, even if Sulieman Benn has been called up as a replacement, but they will rely on their explosive batsmen to lead them to victories.

If the likes of Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo can give WI a solid platform at the top of the innings, it will allow the likes of Dwayne Bavo, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard to go slam-bang crazy towards the death.

India's death bowling has been MS Dhoni's biggest worry for quite a while now and West Indies will certainly look to take full advantage.

Squads: India: MS Dhoni (capt), Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav.

West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (capt), Dwayne Smith, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Leon Johnson, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Denesh Ramdin, Sulieman Benn, Jason Holder, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor.

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