After India chased down 100 with just a ball to spare in the second T20I against New Zealand at the Ekana Stadium, captain Hardik Pandya had criticised the nature of the pitch, calling it a 'shocker'.
When asked the same question in the post-match press conference, India's bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said that one should ask the curator why the pitch, which offered huge turn to spinners and saw them bowl 30 out of 40 overs, behaved in that manner during the match.
"When we first saw the wicket, we noticed that it was on the drier side. There was obviously some grass covering in the middle, but there was no grass at either end. So, when we arrived yesterday, it appeared to be turning. We anticipated that it would be a difficult wicket. You must inquire with the curator as to why the pitch behaved in this manner."
Simultaneously, Mhambrey praised the Indian bowlers for keeping things tight and limiting New Zealand to 99 runs in 20 overs. All four spinners, including the returning Yuzvendra Chahal, took wickets.
"Was it the right time? Or I don't know, but I believe he is the best person to answer that question. But it was definitely difficult. We knew it would be a difficult task, but we were pleased with how we managed the game. I believe we allowed 100 runs, and anything above 120-130 would have been more difficult, but we did well to limit them to 99 and give us a reasonable target to chase "He went on to say.
Chahal replaced tearaway pacer Umran Malik in the Lucknow T20I, raising many eyebrows. Mhambrey, on the other hand, pointed out that the need for an extra spinner was felt, which led to the Chahal-Umran swap.
"In the last game, we had an extra seamer, but looking at the conditions, we realized that an additional spinner would definitely help. It did and Chahal bowled well for us."
He signed off by praising Hardik for rotating the bowlers well to keep New Zealand firmly in check. "Even though Jadeja and Axar aren't there, we know what value the other two spinners provide. It's also an opportunity to try other bowlers as well. Hooda bowled four overs, but you don't often see Hooda finishing four overs when Axar, Jadeja, or any regular spinner is available."
"But credit goes to Hardik for the way he rotated the bowlers and the faith he showed in them, especially Hooda and Washy. Very happy the way they have bowled and progressed throughout the innings."