'Ishant has worked hard in the nets'

Raina defends colleague ahead of crucial ODI.

Together, we struggle.RANCHI: India batsman Suresh Raina on Tuesday jumped to the defence of the struggling Ishant Sharma, saying that the lanky fast-bowler had “worked hard in the nets in the last two days”.

India head into the fourth ODI at Ranchi with a 1-2 deficit, thanks to Ishant’s tables-turning 48th over, in which he was massacred for 30 runs by James Faulkner, with much speculation on whether the lanky Delhi paceman will find a place in the eleven for Wednesday's game.

Raina, however, sounded a positive note for his bowlers, a group that have conceded over 300 every time they have bowled in the series.

“Our bowlers are doing well. Our think tank is strong and we 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.

The left-hander from Ghaziabad said the team was finding it difficult to adapt to the new ODI rules.

"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. The two balls from either side are a concern for us. There cannot be excuses and we have to perform well under the circumstances," he added.

Raina is himself going through a mediocre patch. While Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni have plundered runs, the southpaw has appeared inept against the short ball since the solitary T20 game, with scores of 19, 39 and 17.