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India's players celebrate after the dismissal of West Indies' Akeal Hosein during the first Twenty20 International at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: India’s Mission Melbourne has just begun today when they take on West Indies in the first of the three Twenty20 Internationals at the iconic Eden Gardens stadium.

The Twenty20 World Cup in Australia starts in October and India will be playing a maximum of 15 Twenty20 games before that. Men in Blue will have their work cut out to pick the best 15 and five reserve players for the World Cup in these games. The Indian Premier League (IPL) also would be an ideal preparation for team India for the upcoming World Cup.

India had a disappointing T20 World Cup last year when they failed to make it to the semi-finals in the UAE last October.

India have now got a new captain in Rohit Sharma after Virat Kohli decided to step down. The Hitman has a good record in IPL, winning five titles for his franchise Mumbai Indians and has also got enough experience after having played 119 T20 international games. Sharma is also the second highest-scorer behind Kohli and the only batsman in the world to score four centuries in the shortest format.

The conditions in Australia will be different, but what’s important is that Sharma identifies the players he feels will stand in good stead in their quest for their second Twenty20 World Cup, which has been eluding India since 2007.

There is no shortage of talent with the likes of Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant to follow Sharma, KL Rahul and Kohli. India need to find the ideal all-rounder to replace Hardik Pandya, who is unable to bowl because of his injury, but have Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar, who could be the men who can fulfil that role.

Their spin attack needs to be also finalised with Yuzvendra Chahal, who was not picked for the last World Cup, back in the thick of things. Whoever India picks now, needed to be backed until the World Cup so that the players feel secured and play the free brand of cricket, which they play in the IPL.

Time will tell if India can get the right squad ready for the World Cup, which begins in eight months’ time in Australia, but there can’t be a better team to start their preparations as the West Indians are the most dangerous team in the shortest format.