IND vs NZ: Lucknow pitch curator sacked after Hardik Pandya's 'shocker' comment in second T20I

It has been reported that the pitch was changed last minute after request from the home team.

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hardik Pandya and Indian Cricket Team
hardik Pandya and Indian Cricket Team. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The pitch curator of Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow has reportedly been sacked after it provided excessive turn for the spinners during the second T20I between India and New Zealand. The visitors made 99 runs in their 20 overs, and the Men in Blue chased the target of 100 runs with just one ball to spare.

Out of 39.5 overs in which 200 runs were scored, 30 overs were bowled by the spinners. It also turned out to be a record for most overs bowled by spinners in a T20I. After the hosts won the game, skipper Hardik Pandya called the pitch a ‘shocker.’

“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," said Pandya after the match.

Indian team requested curator to change in the pitch last moment

According to the reports of The Indian Express, it was the Indian team who requested the Lucknow curator to change the pitch at the last moment.  The curator had apparently prepared two black soil pitches for the game. But the home team requested to make a fresh pitch of red soil three days before the match. The time frame was not adequate for the surface to get ready.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Agarwal from Gwalior has been appointed as the new curator for the Lucknow pitch keeping the upcoming IPL in mind. This ground will host the home matches of Lucknow Super Giants and BCCI can’t afford to host a match on such pitches. 

As for the game, India played with three main spinners in the match, including the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar. Part-time bowler Deepak Hooda also rolled his arm as the four spinners together took 4 wickets conceding 55 runs in 13 overs.

Meanwhile, the Kiwis had Ish Sodhi, Michael Bracewell, skipper Mitchell Santner, Glenn Phillips, and Mark Chapman up their sleeve as they scalped two wickets for 78 runs in 17 overs.

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