15 out of 30: Who will make the cut for India's T20 World Cup squad?

Since the previous Twenty20 World Cup in 2016, India have fielded 45 players in T20Is. With a year to go for the next edition in Australia, there are only a handful of certainties. A few of ESPNcricinfo's writers who follow Indian cricket closely got together to categorise the hopefuls.

Apart from the obvious names, Shreyas Iyer has emerged as a certainty following consistent performances in limited-overs cricket since his comeback in August. He has two half-centuries at a 100-plus strike rate in his previous two ODIs. In T20Is, he's made three 20-plus scores, including a 62 off 33 balls against Bangladesh in Nagpur.

Deepak Chahar has played just seven T20Is, but has left his mark in each one of them. His ability to swing the new ball late, and at good pace, makes him an excellent powerplay option. His death-bowling skills have improved too. While he may not be an automatic choice, it's hard to imagine India going to the World Cup without him.

Hardik Pandya is still guaranteed a spot despite being out for a while due to injury, as there aren't too many players with his all-round capabilities.

Kuldeep Yadav may have been a certainty at this time last year, but he's now been downgraded to 'contender' category with India looking for more batting depth from the bowlers too. Similarly, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will all have to earn their spots thanks to stifling competition.

What of Rishabh Pant? With Sanju Samson breathing down his neck, Pant knows he needs performances of note. Also, you really can't rule out MS Dhoni, can you?

There is an IPL coming up, which could firm up India's plans. This means performers there could suddenly jump the queue and come into consideration. Ask Vijay Shankar, who made his debut only six months prior to the 2019 World Cup, and was suddenly on the plane to England. So, the mantra should be: never say never.