India's bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said the curator is the "right person" to talk about the surface that was on offer at the Ekana Stadium for the second T20I between India and England. The Black Caps could only manage 99/8 in their 20 overs and it took India 19.5 overs to hunt it down.
The surface offered a lot of turn to spinners and not a single six was hit in the entire match. 30 of the 39.5 overs were bowled by spinners and the likes of Arshdeep Singh, Shivam Mavi, Jacob Duffy, Lockie Ferguson and Blair Tickner only bowled 5.5 overs between them. Indian skipper Hardik Pandya went on to describe the Lucknow pitch as a "shocker".
“The curator is the right person to answer that question (on the pitch). But definitely, we knew it would be a big challenge and luckily we controlled the game. Anything in the range of 120-130 would have been really challenging. We did well to restrict them to 99 and it was an achievable target," Mhambrey said at the post-match press conference.
India dropped Umran Malik for an extra spinner in Yuzvendra Chahal, who bowled only two overs despite taking one wicket for just four runs. Deepak Hooda and Kuldeep Yadav completed their full quota of overs, while Washington Sundar also chipped in with three overs.
“When we saw the wicket, we realised it was on the drier side. There was a little grass covering on the middle, but there was none on both ends. When we came yesterday, it looked like it would turn and we realised it would be challenging," said Mhambrey.
Talking about Chahal’s inclusion and him bowling both his overs in the powerplay, Mhambrey said: “Chahal was included because we felt an additional spinner would help us. It really did as he bowled well for us.
"You take decisions on the basis of surface and instincts. Hardik possibly felt that a leg-spinner would help in that situation since a right-hander was batting and it was turning. Possibly that is why he bowled in the powerplay.”