India and New Zealand played out a low-scoring thriller in Lucknow on Sunday, with batsmen from both sides struggling to cope with spin. Despite opting to bat first, New Zealand could only manage 99/8 in 20 overs. It looked like an easy run chase for India, but it turned out to be a tough task for the Kiwi spinners. India won by six wickets with one ball to spare.
Indian captain Hardik Pandya was not very impressed with the Lucknow pitch curators and described the ground as poor after the match. Hardik said the way the spinners were getting help, 120 would have been a winning total on this track. Indian bowling coach Paras Mhambrey expressed similar views. He said – there was some grass in the middle, but there was no grass at both ends of the pitch. When we came here yesterday, we thought it would turn and be a challenging wicket. We are happy that we controlled the game well. 120-130 would have been really challenging.
Apart from these two, former India opener Gautam Gambhir has also criticized the pitch. Gambhir also made fun of South African wicket-keeper batsman Quinton Dickock. He claimed that if Quinton de Kock, who played in Gambhir’s mentoring team Lucknow Supergiants in the IPL, had seen this pitch, he would not have come to play in the IPL. Gambhir made this remark while commentating during the second T20.
Gambhir said- If Dickock sees this pitch then he may not come to play IPL. Lucknow had qualified for the playoffs last year in its debut season itself. South African wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock scored 508 runs in 15 matches in the last edition, including an innings of 140 not out. Apart from this, he also scored three half-centuries.
What did Gambhir say about Chahal
Gambhir also criticized captain Hardik Pandya after the match. He also expressed displeasure over Yuzvendra Chahal not being given four overs of the quota. It was Chahal who started dismantling New Zealand’s batting. On the third ball of the fourth over of New Zealand’s innings, he shocked the dangerous Finn Allen by dismissing him. Chahal bowled one more over and in total conceded just four runs in 12 balls. However, surprisingly, captain Hardik Pandya did not give him another over after this. Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir was not very happy with the move.
Gambhir said – This is surprising. Why he was not bowled is a question I cannot answer, that too on a wicket like this. Chahal is your number one spinner in the T20 format. Just asking him to bowl two overs and in that he got the crucial wicket of Finn Allen and then not giving him the full over doesn’t make sense. Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav and Deepak Hooda were the only bowlers who bowled all their quota of overs. Only three overs were bowled from Washington Sundar.
Gambhir said that if Chahal was given one more over to bowl at the death, India could have bowled New Zealand out for 80-85. Gambhir said- Yes, you want to give another chance to young bowlers like Arshdeep Singh or Shivam Mavi. Although, you could have bowled Chahal in the last over or earlier, but India missed it. India could have bowled New Zealand out for 80 or 85. Much to the surprise, Hooda was asked to bowl four overs but not Chahal.