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India vs Windies: Lucknow T20I will be a low-scoring affair, says local curator

"The pitch has long dead grass on both sides."

Ekana International Cricket Stadium. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ekana International Cricket Stadium. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The five-match ODI series between India and Windies that ended earlier this month witnessed quite a run feast with five out of 10 innings having 300-plus scores. However, the fans are unlikely to see similar run fests in the three-match T20I series which started on November 4. The first game saw the Windies scoring only 109 runs batting first and if reports are to be believed, there is little hope that the second game in Lucknow will see much fireworks either even if it is held on the eve of Diwali.

According to the local curator of Lucknow’s Ekana International Cricket Stadium, the second T20I scheduled on Tuesday is likely to be a low-scoring one with spinners having a lot of possibility of taking the upper edge. While Lucknow is hosting an international cricket match after 24 years, it will be the inaugural game in the newly built Ekana stadium.

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“It won’t be a high-scoring game for sure. The pitch has long dead grass on both sides with cracks in between. It will be a slow bouncing wicket and spinners are expected to play a big part from the beginning,” the Scroll cited reports quoting the curator as saying. Anything above 130 will be a good score, it was said.

“The pitch is made of soil exported from Odisha’s Bolangir which is famous for its slow nature. Both the teams will find it difficult to score runs and hit big shots with long square boundaries.”

India lead the series 1-0

The first match also saw the bowlers dominating as India too faced hiccups during their chase of the modest target of 110 and could overhaul it as late as in the 18th over with five wickets in hand. Kuldeep Yadav, who took three wickets in the first match to wreck the Caribbeans’ lower middle-order, could prove to be captain Rohit Sharma’s trump card once again in Lucknow. India are leading the series 1-0 and another win will seal it for them.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) chief curator Daljit Singh has been in charge of the Lucknow wicket from start and he has prepared it with help of Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) curators Ravindra Chauhan, Shiv Kumar and Surendra.

Another curator, who has also worked on the wicket, said dew will also play a role in making scoring difficult on the surface. He said though the outfield is fast, the fact that winter is setting in North India means dew will be playing a role from the word go and boundaries will be cut down and the batsmen will have to make a lot of running.

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