Keeping up with their latest trend of naming a 12-man squad on the eve of international fixtures, the Indian cricket team has done so for the first of the upcoming five-match ODI series against the West Indies.
On the expected lines, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has found a place in the Virat Kohli-led trimmed squad and is likely to make his ODI debut on Sunday in Guwahati.
Pant, 21, replaced Dinesh Karthik in the squad but he is likely to be in the playing XI as a pure batsman and not a first-choice wicketkeeper as veteran MS Dhoni will continue doing the stumper's duty.
The left-hander earned the limited-overs call-up after impressing in Tests — five of them he has played since making his debut in England earlier this year.
Nonetheless, Pant, who took Indian Premier League 2018 by storm with his big-hitting skills, is a proven talent in the shorter formats of the game.
Pant's inclusion comes at a time when there is considerable pressure on Dhoni as the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman is struggling for form. Also, the 21-year-old needs exposure at the highest level if he is to be included in the World Cup squad as a back-up wicket-keeping option.
Rahul, Pandey benched; three spinners likely
On the other hand, KL Rahul and Manish Pandey will warm the benches on Sunday as Ambati Rayudu gets the nod for the middle-order role ahead of the two Karnataka batsmen.
With Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal named in the 12-member list, India are likely to continue with a three-spinner combination that worked well for them during the victorious Asia Cup campaign.
While in-form Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami are expected to share the new ball attack, young left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed may get the nod ahead of the latter for Sunday's tie.
Samuels, Holder key for inexperienced West Indies line-up
On the other hand, West Indies have arrived in India with a second-string squad with the likes of T20 globetrotters Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, and Sunil Narine among others opting to skip the tour.
Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo will be playing the T20Is next month but the big-hitting duo won't be available for the ODI series.
In the absence of big names, Jason Holder-led West Indies side has three uncapped players — Chandrapaul Hemraj (opener), Fabian Allen (all-rounder) and Oshane Thomas (fast bowler).
Pitch and playing conditions
India lost the only international match that has been played at the venue — a T20I against Australia last year. The wicket was seemingly on the slower side during that game but expect a track that offers a lot of runs for Sunday's tie.
A hot and humid day is predicted at Guwahati on Sunday with no real threat of rain during the Day-Night fixture.
Team News - Predicted playing XIs
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Shimron Hetmyer, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shai Hope (wk), Marlon Samuels, Sunil Ambris, Rovman Powell, Devendra Bishoo, Alizarri Joseph, Ashley Nurse, Oshane Thomas.