Though India registered a nervy six-wicket win over New Zealand in the second T20I, captain Hardik Pandya criticised the ‘spin-dominating’ pitch here, calling it shocker of a wicket and not suitable for T20 cricket.
Indian bowlers — Arshdeep Singh (2-7), Yuzvendra Chahal (1-4), Kuldeep Yadav (1-17), Deepak Hooda (1-17), Washington Sundar (1-17) and Hardik Pandya (1-25) — produced a sensational performance to restrict New Zealand to 99/8 in 20 overs.
Chasing a small total on a challenging pitch, India were also in trouble after they were reduced to 50/3 in 10.4 overs but Suryakumar Yadav once again showed his class.
Yadav played a crucial knock (26 not out off 31), stitched vital partnerships with Washington Sundar (10) and Hardik Pandya (15 not out), and eventually hit the winning boundary for India in the last over.
“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,” Hardik Pandya said in the post-match presentation.
Though India managed to register a tense win, Pandya had the belief in himself and Suryakumar to finish off the game.
“I always believed that we’ll be able to finish the game, but it went quite late. All these games are important. You don’t need to panic because it was about rotating the strike rather than taking the pressure. That’s exactly what we did. We followed our basics,” he said.
The skipper was pleased with the performance of the bowlers, who stuck to their plans.
“Other than that, happy. Even 120 would have been a winning total. Bowlers — they stuck to their plan and ensured they did not rotate the strike. We kept rotating the spinners. Dew didn’t play much part in this. They were able to spin the ball more than us. It was carried through well. It was a shocker of a wicket,” Hardik Pandya said.