There was much criticism of the spin-friendly pitch used in the second T20I against New Zealand in January at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow as the batters struggled to time the ball in the low-scoring game. The pitch used in the match has been rated “average” by the International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Javagal Srinath.
New Zealand managed to score just 99 runs for the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs, which is their lowest-ever total against India in the shortest format of the game. The spinners bowled a total of 30 out of 40 overs, which is the most overs bowled by spinners in a T20I game, surpassing the 28 overs bowled between Bangladesh and Pakistan in 2012.
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The pitch used in the match escaped sanctions or any demerit points as the pitch was rated average. The Lucknow pitch has received an average rating according to the updated list of pitch and outfield ratings for men’s and women’s international matches played between January 1, 2022, and February 23, 2023, posted on the ICC website.
Skipper Hardik Pandya called the surface a “shocker,” and India needs to make better pitches. The curator of the match was sacked after the match. The venue is the home ground for the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL).
“Rather than taking risks, we rotated the strike. having said that, this is a shocker of a pitch. We need to make sure we have better pitches. Even 120 would have been a winning total here,” Hardik told Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
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Similarly, the spin track used in the first T20I of the series between India and New Zealand at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium in Ranchi on January 27 was given an “average” rating. A pitch is deemed average by the match referee when it “lacks carry, and/or bounce and/or occasional seam movement, but is consistent in carry and bounce”.
India failed to chase down the 177-run target and conceded an early lead in the T20I series against New Zealand. The Men in Blue lost by 21 runs and they never recovered after falling behind 15-3. The hosts scored only 155 runs for the loss of six wickets, with the pitch assisting the spinners generously.
Also read: AUS vs IND 2023: He Might Need Some Time Off From The Game To Go Back And Come Back Fresh For The ODIs – Dinesh Karthik On Star Indian Batter
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