India captain Hardik Pandya and New Zealand’s stand-in skipper Mitchell Santner reacted after the low-scoring second T20I at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday.
Pandya, in particular, looked critical of the pitch used for the match, expressing his shock regarding how the surface played out. Notably, while chasing the paltry target of 100, India faced many difficulties and managed to complete the chase with only one ball to spare.
“To be honest, it was a shocker of a wicket. Both the games we have played 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 at the post-match presentation.
During the contest, the spinners bowled 30 out of the 40 overs, and Pandya reckoned that 120 would have been a winning total as the ball was spinning way too much.
“Even 120 would have been a winning total here. Dew didn’t play much of a role because, if you see, they were able to spin the ball more than us. It was a shocker of a wicket. The ball was flying for even the fast bowlers,” added Pandya.
New Zealand skipper Santner was also surprised by the amount of purchases the spinners got in the evening. The tourists dragged the game too deep, with Santner asking everyone to bowl spin. He even squeezed out four overs from wicketkeeper-turned-part-time off-spinner Glenn Phillips.
Santner said he was asking his fast bowlers if they could also chip in with some spin.
“It was obviously a great game of cricket. To get it so close was a pretty good effort from the boys. If we got an extra 10-15 [runs], it could’ve been the difference, but I think the calmness of Hardik and Surya [Suryakumar Yadav] to get them over the line was pretty good. I was trying to find them [spinners] from everywhere. I was asking Lockie [Ferguson] if he could bowl some off-spin, but yeah, I think you don’t often see more than 12 overs of spin out there. I think maybe we bowled 16 or 17, so it’s definitely something different,” stated Santner.
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