Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma needs to bowl a consistent line and length in the remainder of the ODI series.Reuters

India bowlers have drawn a sorry picture in the ongoing ODI series against Australia, who have successfully chased big targets in the last three matches. Team Director Ravi Shastri wants his bowlers to come up with an improved performance in the fourth ODI at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. 

Australia won the first two ODIs with relative ease, but the India bowlers put up a decent performance in the third one-day international at the MCG, even if it was still not enough to claim a victory. Glenn Maxwell was the batsman who came to Australia's rescue in the third one-dayer, as he played a matchwinning knock of 96 runs to help the home team clinch the series.

India seamers and spinners have been found guilty of bowling some loose balls to ease the pressure on the Australia batsman. Shastri does not want that to happen again.

"To apply finishing touches in close games, we need to bowl better and be consistent as a bowling unit," Shastri told reporters at the pre-match media conference.

"Dhoni mentioned in the press conference [after the third ODI] that there were too many easy boundaries. It's not that the batsman has to earn it but they are given like freebies.

"That should be eliminated. Even if you cut that by 60-70 percent, it will become an even tighter game."

The India bowlers have not got their act together as a unit, which has been a major concern. Barinder Sran took an impressive three wickets in his debut game in the first ODI, while the second match witnessed a poor performance from the seamers.

India, so far, have come up with their best bowling performance in the third ODI, which saw Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja take two wickets each.

Shastri, who was in charge of the Indian team during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, admitted India can beat top sides only if the bowlers fire as a unit.

"They will be disappointed, there is no doubt about that because to win a game one or two bowlers can't do the job. You need to bowl as a unit. The reason why we did well at the World Cup last year was we had all the five bowlers firing," said Shastri.

"So when that happens then you have a chance of beating the best side in the world. But there are no excuses for bowling wides, so obviously they will be disappointed and they have to put their best foot forward."