Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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The Indian team is set to depart for Australia on October 6, two days after the conclusion of the T20I series against South Africa, for a preparatory camp ahead of the T20 World Cup. This also means the selectors are likely to announce a second-string squad, led by Shikhar Dhawan in all likelihood, for the three ODIs against South Africa from October 6-11.
India will train in Perth till October 13 where they are also slated to play a practice game against Western Australia before they proceed to Brisbane to take on Australia and New Zealand in two more warm-up games prior to the tournament proper.
As many as five members of the T20 World Cup squad - including the standbys - have no experience of playing top-flight cricket in Australia. That's Suryakumar Yadav, Harshal Patel (made one trip with the U-19s in 2009), Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Hooda (made one trip with U-19s in 2013) and Ravi Bishnoi. So these games might help these players acclimatise better and be more match ready.
As things stand, India are waiting on the fitness of Hooda and Bumrah, both of whom are currently at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru nursing back injuries. While Hooda was ruled out of the South Africa series entirely, Bumrah was only pulled out on Wednesday, the eve of the first T20I, after he complained of back pain.
Bumrah, who missed the Asia Cup with back issues, had only just come back for the T20Is against Australia earlier this month. But now he's back under the care of the medical team at the NCA, where he is believed to have undergone scans. While he hasn't been ruled out of the T20 World Cup entirely, there are considerable doubts over his participation. If injuries do rule out both Hooda and Bumrah, it's likely Chahar and Mohammad Shami will be called into the main squad.
India head into the T20 World Cup on the back of extensive preparation. They've been on the road for the past three months, having played T20Is in Ireland, England, the Caribbean, the UAE to go with the home series against Australia and South Africa.
India are in Group 2 at the ICC event, alongside Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa and two qualifiers. Their opener at the MCG against Pakistan on October 23 will be followed by matches on October 27 (vs Qualifier in Sydney), October 30 (vs South Africa in Perth), November 2 (vs Bangladesh in Adelaide) and November 6 (vs qualifier in Melbourne).
India T20 World Cup squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul (vice-capt), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.
Reserve players: Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar.