India’s reserve captain Hardik Pandya described Lucknow’s pitch as a “shocker” after chasing the New Zealand 100 in their second T20I with one ball to go. The track at Ekana Stadium took a big twist throughout the game, like his pitch at lunch in the T20I at the start on Friday.
“It was a wicket shock, to be honest,” Hardik told Star Sports in his post-match presentation. Agreed, but these gates were not made for the T20. Wherever T20 is played, curators and stadiums should set up the games ahead of time rather than having a few games there. Other than that, I’m very happy (with the result).”
On Sunday, Spinner said he had bowled 30 of his 40 overs with six zeros. This is two overs more than his previous record for most overs bowled by a spinner in T20I for a full-member team.
Hardyk added that the racquet has to be pretty careful because there’s a lot going on from the surface. “But it actually worked out very well, it was a wicket worth of shock to be honest. I have confirmed that it continues to
“Trying to find weirdos everywhere”
New Zealand captain Mitchell Santner was surprised at how much turnover the spinners made late in the evening, with so much support that wicketkeeper-turned-part-time off-spinner Glenn He took four overs from Phillips. Mark Chapman, also a part-time fingerspinner, thwarted his own over as New Zealand tied the game to the final over despite only posting 99 for him 8.
“Obviously it was a great match of cricket,” said Santner, adding: “It was a great performance from the players to make it so close. If we had 10-15 extra [runs] it might have made a difference, but I think Hardik and Surya’s composure to cross the finish line was pretty good. I tried to find them [spinners] everywhere and I asked his Lockie [Ferguson] if he could throw me an off spin and yes I rarely see spins longer than 12 overs I think. I think I probably bowled 16 or 17 times, so obviously not. ”
Gambhir and Niesham also critical of Lucknow
Former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir and New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham spoke to Star Sports about Hardik’s thoughts on the pitch.
“I didn’t think New Zealand hitters were weak,” said Neesham. “I think it was a ‘below average’ surface, as GG [Gautam Gambhir] said. It’s a little disappointing to see so many people come to the ground to watch and enjoy an attack on two very good spin bowling games, but there’s a silver lining that the result is a low-scoring thriller.
‘A variety of wickets around the world is a positive thing’
Michael Bracewell, who picked up 1 for 13 in his four overs, wasn’t as critical of the Lucknow track, and reckoned that it wasn’t necessarily a bad advertisement for T20 cricket.
“No, I think it was cool to play on a different wicket, and as I said earlier, it’s one of those ones where if you play on a wicket like that all the time or if you or if you play on a wicket that’s flat all the time, then you don’t get a true test of your skill,” Bracewell said at his post-match press conference. “So, I think a variety of wickets around the world is a positive thing and India were just too good today on a wicket that probably suited their style of play and obviously growing up playing in those conditions as well. So, it’s one of those ones where you expect different wickets around the world and we can’t complain; it’s exciting to try and figure out a way to play on these wickets.”
‘You have to ask curator about behaviour of pitch’
India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey also spoke of the challenges posed by the Ekana Stadium surface, and praised his four-man spin attack, which was bolstered by the return of legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
“Firstly when we saw the wicket, we realised that it was on the drier side,” Mhambrey said at his post-match press conference. “Of course there was a little bit of grass in the middle but no grass on either end. When we came in yesterday it looked like it was spinning. I did. The reason [why the pitch behaved this way]… you should ask the curator. “Is it about time? Or I don’t know, I think he’s the right person to answer that question. But it was definitely a challenge. We knew it was going to be a big challenge and we were lucky. We were happy with that, the way we controlled the game.” I think we allowed 100 runs and anything over 120-130. I thought it would be harder, but they capped it at 99 and gave us a reasonable goal to pursue.”