The West Indies authorities were at first the only cricket board prepared to pick their 'Packer' players for Test Matches. This all changed when the players who had signed to play in the 1978-79 season in Australia did not make themselves available for West Indies' fifth tour of India. Before Packer could respond with his proposals to enable them to join the tour, the West Indies Cricket Board ruled out some twenty of their best cricketers and went ahead with those who were available.
Alvin Kallicharran, the only major player not to commit to playing World Series Cricket, was made captain. Most of the players, solid performers in the Shell Shield, would not have expected to get near to the Test team. With every one of West Indies' top forty players out of the Caribbean, the Shell Shield was put back until March.
When the West Indies Board later announced it would consider World Series Cricket contracted plavers for the Prudential World Cup in England in June 1979, members of this tour party expressed their "displeasure and dissatisfaction" and said the tour was in jeopardy - after all, they were keeping the West Indies flag flying.
It was India's first six-Test series, and the home country won the only Test match to reach a conclusion. India (and notably Sunil Gavaskar) held the upper hand after the first Test was narrowly drawn with West Indies complaining about partial umpiring. Although there were five drawn matches, this does not disclose India's supremacy. West Indies were saved from defeat in one Test by the threat of crowd disturbances and in another by bad light. India had beaten West Indies only once before, in the 1970-71 series.
The last day of the second Test match at Bangalore was abandoned due to violent disturbances following the jailing of Indira Gandhi.
Ramcharitvar Rickhi, secretary of the West Indies' Umpires Union, made the tour at his own expense and assisted the team.
M C Carew(chairman),C L Walcott,J K C Holt met at the Holiday Inn in Port of Spain.
Alvin Kallicharran was named as captain on 12 August and helped pick the remainder of the team.
Unavailable: Most of the leading West Indies players were already committed to World Series Cricket in Australia. They had been asked to declare their availability by 23 March.It was announced on 3 August that none of them would be included.
The first seven players (Kallicharran, Holder, Gomes, Alvin Greenidge, Parry, Phillip and Williams) who formed the heart of the team were announced on 4 April.The West Indies Board ensured that they would sign a tour contract before the World Series Cricket organisation could sign them up.
On 1 May it was decided to pick the next nine names later as a strike by airline staff prevented the Chairman of Selectors, Joey Carew, from getting a flight to Kingston, Jamaica, to join the rest of the panel.
Tour Party Announced:14 August 1978.
Not selected :Irving Shillingford, Victor Eddy and Sheldon Gomes.
The team flew from Barbados on 8 November 1978.After a three-day stopover in London, staying at a hotel in Lancaster Gate, they landed in Bombay on 13 November. The manager preferred to answer all WSC-related questions at a later press conference, once refreshed.