Ranchi, Oct 22: Despite the criticism and call for Ishant Sharma's ouster for conceding 30 runs in an over, team-mate Suresh Raina today dropped hints that the beleaguered pacer could be retained in the fourth ODI against Australia at the JSCA Stadium here tomorrow.
Raina said Ishant had worked really hard in the last couple of days to overcome the disastrous 48th over in Mohali that cost India the third one-dayer as Aussies took a 2-1 lead.
"I hope Ishant would be strong in his mindset and approach the match in a positive manner. He has really worked hard in the last two days," Raina told reporters today.
"Our bowlers are doing well. Our think tank is strong and have good planning. Bowlers are training hard for last two days. The harder they work the better they would perform. Hopefully we will do really well against the Aussies tomorrow," he said.
Admitting that adjusting to the new ODI rules was proving difficult for the bowlers, he said: "We are not getting the ball to reverse, while spinners are also not getting turns as with two balls it do not get old. But we have no excuse. We have to do well under the circumstances.
"We have to admit that it's tough for the bowlers. When five players are inside (the circle), it's obviously going to be difficult for the part-timers as your regular bowlers are not doing well.
"Bowlers come under pressure as to what line and length they would have to try when five players are inside. You're allowed to bowl two bouncers but then you have to bowl four more balls after that."
Raina, however, said they would have to live up to the challenge laid out by the ICC. "No complains, as we have to play under the ICC Playing Conditions. Players will have to do their job."
Asked whether 15-20 runs per over had become a norm, he said: "The players are used to the Indian bowlers after six IPLs. There's positive as well as negative aspect to it. There is more pressure on the bowlers nowadays."