India captain Hardik Pandya has slammed the pitch curators after yet another low-scoring thriller. Just like the first match in Ranchi, the second T20I in Lucknow turned out to be a spin-friendly wicket where the batter constantly struggled to put bat on ball. Batting first New Zealand were restricted to 99/8 in the allotted 20 overs, and in chase, India struggled as well to reach the target of 100 before Suryakumar Yadav hit the winning runs in the last over.
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“I always believed that we’ll be able to finish the game, but it went quite late. All these games are important with the moments. You don’t need to panic because it was about rotating the strike rather than taking the pressure. That’s exactly what we did. We followed our basics. 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,” Pandya told the broadcasters after the match.
“Other than that, happy. Even 120 would have been a winning total. Bowlers - they stuck to their plans and ensured they did not rotate the strike. We kept rotating the spinners. Dew didn’t play much part in this. They were able to spin the ball more than us. It was carrying through well. It was a shocker of a wicket,” he said.
Indian spinners revelled on a turning track before the batters made heavy weather of a small target to register a scrappy series levelling win over New Zealand in the second T20 International here on Sunday.
The trio of Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav impressed on a helping surface to limit a self-destructing New Zealand to 99 for eight, their lowest total against India in the shortest format.
It should have been a straight-forward run chase but the top-order comprising Ishan Kishan (19 off 32), Shubman Gill (11 off 9) and Rahul Tripathi (13 off 18) had a tough time again in spin-friendly conditions.
In the end, Hardik Pandya (15 not out off 20) and Suryakumar Yadav (26 not out off 31) took the team over the line with a ball to spare and six wickets in hand.