The centre stage will belong to Tendulkar, who will begin pulling the curtains down on his glittering career. The 40-year-old veteran will call it quits after his 200th Test with the one starting tomorrow being his 199th. VISIT OUR EXCLUSIVE CRICKET PAGE Sach Memories: Amazing cricketing performance and journey READ MORE ON SACHIN TENDULKAR MORE ON WEST INDIES TOUR OF INDIA (JPN/Agencies)
Amid an upsurge of emotions among fans and administrators of the game alike, Tendulkar would look to make it memorable through his bat against a team, which has promised to steal the limelight by thwarting him.
Given the hype and hoopla surrounding the series, it would take a herculean effort from the West Indies to avoid being just bridesmaids.
Tendulkar's imposing presence will dominate the series and why not? In a controversy-free career spanning 24 years, Tendulkar has been the most worshipped and followed cricketer who has against his name, almost all the batting records including most runs and hundreds in international cricket.
Treated like 'God' by his fans, it will be one nostalgic moment for sports-mad Kolkata when Tendulkar comes on to bat in his penultimate Test on the hallowed Eden Gardens.
The majestic ground has been witness to many of Tendulkar's ups and downs since his Eden odyssey began in an ODI against Sri Lanka on January 4, 1991.
His miserly three-run last over that had denied South Africa the winning six runs in the Hero Cup semifinal on November 24, 1993 is part of cricketing folklore.
At the same time, the 1996 World Cup semifinal against Sri Lanka when fans hurled bottles and set the stands on fire after an Indian collapse began with Tendulkar's dismissal would also remain etched in the memory.
Having played 25 matches in both Test and ODI formats here, the most by any, Tendulkar will appear in his 13th Test at the Eden and the fans would pray that the batting stalwart bids adieu to the historic ground on a high.
Adulation and admiration aside, Tendulkar has been subjected to criticism in recent times. He has had a tough time especially in the last couple of years when he took 21 Tests and 12 ODIs to get to his 100th International centuries that came against minnows Bangladesh on March 16, 2012.
But in Tests, Tendulkar is stranded at 51 tons and is yet to score a century in 21 matches since his 146 in Cape Town on January 2, 2011.
Tendulkar's farewell aside, India will start the series as firm favourites with the young batsmen rising up to the challenge even though the bowling is a worry.
On the other hand, despite their big claims of playing hard cricket and spoiling Tendulkar's farewell series, the Windies did not quite show quality in a three-day practice match against Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association last week.
This will be a perfect dress rehearsal for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men before the tough away challenges in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia next year.
India's batting is in the groove and the return of Shikhar Dhawan will strengthen the middle-order.
The left-hander struck a rollicking 187 in his debut innings in Mohali only to sit out in the second essay picking up an injury and going on to miss the last Test against Australia earlier this year.
After his comeback in the IPL, Dhawan was in blistering form in the recent ODI series and the southpaw would look to lay the foundation at the top with Murali Vijay, while Cheteshwar Pujara will play the sheet-anchor role.
India's middle-order would see a new face in Rohit Sharma when he makes his a Test debut at the Eden. More than three and after 108 ODIs and 3049 runs, Sharma has a new-found approach as showed by becoming only the third batsman ever to score an ODI triple-hundred in the recent home series against Australia.
Sharma was due for a Test debut against the touring South Africans in 2009-10 but a freak injury kept him on the sidelines.
In fact, it is the bowling attack which has left India in a bit of a quandary. Dhoni is likely to go for a three plus two pace-spin attack in the absence of an injured Ravindra Jadeja.
The return of Umesh Yadav will bolster the new-ball attack with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma being the other two pacers while Bengal-lad Mohammad Shami may just have to wait for a Test debut.
Dhoni may prefer left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha over leg-spinner Amit Mishra to partner Ravichandran Ashwin.
West Indies have come with a pace attack comprising Kemar Roach, Tino Best and Sheldon Cotterrell and the last two did not have show much sting even against the UPCA in the warm-up tie here at Saltlake.
A relatively unknown offie Shane Shillingford is their most experienced spinner while rookie Veerasammy Permaul bowls left-arm orthodox. All in all, it is an attack which is likely to be decimated by players such as Virat Kohli, Dhawan and Sharma who are in irresistible form.
Like in the Indian camp, the Windies too have a milestone cricketer in their most capped player Shivnarine Chanderpaul who will play his 150th Test in Mumbai.
The left-arm batsman with an uncanny stance has been a proven performer against the Indians averaging 66, against his career average of 52.
Apart from Chanderpaul, Windies have a promising batsman in Kirk Edwards who had a successful tour captaining A side along with Narsingh Deonarine.
Chanderpaul has already shown his appetite when he sized up for the series with a hundred, while Deonarine was equally impressive with a 94 in the warm-up tie.
Darren Sammy's men lost 0-2 in a three-Test series in their last tour here in 2011 and it would be interesting to see how they gear up to the challenge in the high marquee series.
India: MS Dhoni (c and wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (c), Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Narsingh Deonarine, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Tino Best, Veerasammy Permaul, Sheldon Cotterrell, Kirk Edwards, Kemar Roach, Shane Shillingford and Chadwick Walton.
The centre stage will belong to Tendulkar, who will begin pulling the curtains down on his glittering career. The 40-year-old veteran will call it quits after his 200th Test with the one starting tomorrow being his 199th.
VISIT OUR EXCLUSIVE CRICKET PAGE
Sach Memories: Amazing cricketing performance and journey
READ MORE ON SACHIN TENDULKAR
MORE ON WEST INDIES TOUR OF INDIA