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India heads to Australia on October 6 for a preparatory camp ahead of the T20 World Cup

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The Indian team will head to Australia on October 6, two days after the end 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, most likely led by Shikhar Dhawan, for the three ODIs against South Africa from October 6-11.

India will train in Perth until October 13, where they will also play an exhibition game against Western Australia before moving on to Brisbane to face Australia and New Zealand in two more warm-up matches before the actual tournament.

As many as five members of the T20 World Cup squad – including the standbys – have no experience playing top cricket in Australia. They are Suryakumar Yadav, Harshal Patel (made one trip with the U-19s in 2009), Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Hooda (made one trip with the U-19s in 2013) and Ravi Bishnoi. So these games can help these players to acclimate better and be more match ready.

As things stand, India is awaiting the eligibility of Hooda and Bumrah, who are both currently nursing back injuries at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. While Hooda was banned from the South African series entirely, Bumrah was only withdrawn on Wednesday, the eve of the first T20I, after complaining of back pain.

Bumrah, who missed the Asian Cup with jersey numbers, had only returned earlier this month for the T20Is against Australia. But now he’s back in the care of the NCA’s medical team, where he’s believed to have undergone scans. Although he has not been completely banned from the T20 World Cup, there are serious doubts about his participation. If injuries rule out both Hooda and Bumrah, it is likely that Chahar and Mohammad Shami will be called into the main squad.

India enters the T20 World Cup after extensive preparation. They have been on the road for the past three months, playing T20Is in Ireland, England, the Caribbean and the UAE to compete in the home series against Australia and South Africa.

India is 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 (wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), 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.