Virender Sehwag is set to lead India in an ODI for the first time since December 2009, after the selectors decided to give MS Dhoni a break for the five-match series against West Indies.
Sachin Tendulkar was also rested for the first three one-dayers, while Yuvraj Singh informed the selectors that he was not fully fit, which means neither has played an ODI for India since their starring roles in the World Cup win. Offspinner Harbhajan Singh, who was dropped for the home ODI series against England and the ongoing Tests against West Indies, remains out of contention too.
Since taking over as full-time captain, Dhoni has been reluctant to miss one-day games despite his heavy workload as full-time wicketkeeper and captain of India and his IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings. In recent times, he sat out of two bilateral one-day series against New Zealand and West Indies, on either side of the World Cup. Gautam Gambhir stood in as captain against New Zealand, while Suresh Raina led an inexperienced side in the West Indies, in the absence of Sehwag, Gambhir and Yuvraj.
Yuvraj missed the tour of West Indies after the World Cup and the IPL due to a lung infection. He returned to the side for the Tests in England, and made a fifty in Trent Bridge, before suffering a fractured finger that put him out of the rest of the series and England's return tour. He came back for the ongoing Tests against West Indies, but failed in the first two matches, before making way for Virat Kohli for the Mumbai Test.
"Need some more time to regain 100 [percent] fitness," Yuvraj tweeted after the squad announcement. "Nothing serious, need to build up the lost stamina look forward to finish the year on a healthy note."
The rest of the side was along expected lines, with Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar returning to complete the four-man seam attack that also included Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav. S Aravind and Abhimanyu Mithun, who were picked for the England ODIs, were dropped despite not getting a game in that series.
Pragyan Ojha missed out despite making a strong comeback to the Test side, which meant offspinner R Ashwin, allrounder Ravindra Jadeja and legspinner Rahul Sharma will be the specialist spinners. Rohit Sharma, who was the top run-getter in the ODIs in West Indies, came back into the side after injuring himself in England.
India squad for first three ODIs: Virender Sehwag (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel (wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Rahul Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar