IND vs NZ: Hardik Pandya slams 'shocker of a pitch' after low-scoring thriller in Lucknow

India restricted New Zealand to 99/8 before chasing the target on the penultimate ball of the match with six wickets in hand.

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Hardik Pandya
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Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: BCCI)

India skipper Hardik Pandya expressed his displeasure on the quality of the pitch at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow after the conclusion of the second T20I between India and New Zealand on January 29.

Team India managed to level the three-match T20I series 1-1 by winning the second T20I by six wickets to take the series into a cracking decider on February 1 in Ahmedabad. 

Meanwhile, Pandya labelled the wicket at Lucknow a "shocker" as the batters from both the teams struggled on the sluggish track. The match witnessed 30 overs of spin without a six being hit in either innings. India restricted New Zealand to 99/8 before chasing the target on the penultimate ball of the match.

Pandya did not mince his words and suggested that international cricket could not be played on such tracks. “To be honest, it was a shocker of a wicket," the 29-year-old said at the post-match presentation.

These wickets were not made for T20: Hardik Pandya

He further stated that he is ready to play cricket on difficult pitches which would challenge the players, however, that should not mean pitches like the one in Lucknow where scoring was next to impossible. He also urged the pitch curators to prepare the tracks earlier.

"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 urged.

"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 added.

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