The world's number one Test side suffered from inconsistent top order contributions during their overseas tours of South Africa and England, losing 1-2 and 1-4 respectively.
The two-match West Indies series starting in Rajkot on Thursday gives India an opportunity to work on their problem areas ahead of the all-important tour of Australia.
"I think the top order getting cemented with these two Test matches, that's what we are looking at," Kohli told reporters.
"These guys are new, so they will take a bit of time to get into it but they definitely have the skillset".
The 18-year-old Shaw, who was chosen ahead of uncapped Mayank Agarwal and one-Test old Hanuma Vihari, is expected to open the batting alongside Lokesh Rahul.
Shaw has accumulated 1418 runs in 14 first-class games including seven centuries and made a strong showing for Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament.
Left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan managed just 162 runs in eight innings in seaming English conditions and was subsequently dropped ahead of the West Indies series.