Some of the recent reports suggest that Lucknow’s pitch curator has been sacked after the 22 yards for India vs New Zealand 2nd T20I provided excessive turn for the spinners of both the teams, making it nearly impossible to score. After opting to bat first, New Zealand only manage to reach a total of 99 for 8 in their 20 overs as the Indian spinners ruled. Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Hooda, and Yuzvendra Chahal bowled 13 overs to restrict the Kiwis.
India’s batters’ state was no better as they somehow managed to surpass the total and complete the chase. In the end, it was Suryakumar Yadav’s boundary that helped India level the series in the penultimate ball of the match. New Zealand gave a heavy dose of spin to India. Out of the 39.5 overs, 30 were bowled by the spinners, missing the world record by just 3 overs. After India’s six-wicket victory, captain Hardik Pandya called the pitch a ‘shocker’.
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During the post-match presentation, Hardik Pandya said, “To be honest, it was a shocker of a wicket. Both the games we have played on so far. I don’t mind difficult wickets. I am all up for that, but these two wickets are not made for T20. Somewhere down the line the curators or the grounds that we are going to play in should make sure they prepare the pitches earlier.”
However, The Indian Express reported that it was the Indian team management that requested the Lucknow curator to change the pitch at the last moment.
The report read: “According to the sources, the curator had prepared two black soil pitches for the game in advance. However, at the behest of a last-minute request from team management three days prior to the match, the curator had been asked to prepare a fresh pitch made of red soil instead. The new pitch could not be adequately prepared on short notice, and led to even slower conditions.”
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The report further added that Sanjeev Agarwal from Gwalior has now been appointed as the curator for Lucknow keeping IPL 2023 in mind. The Lucknow Super Giants will play their home matches at the venue and the BCCI can’t afford such pitches.
Meanwhile, India and New Zealand will lock horns for the series-deciding third T20I in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.