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The pitch curation was subject to heavy criticism following Sunday’s match with Team India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey echoing the concerns of Pandya when asked about the conditions. “The curator is the right person to answer that question (on pitch),” he said. “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 realized it would be challenging.” Gautam Gambhir, mentor of the Lucknow Super Giants IPL franchise, called it a “sub-standard wicket” on Star Sports studio.

According to the sources, the curator had prepared two black soil pitches for the game in advance. However, at the behest of a last-minute request from team management three days prior to the match, the curator had been asked to prepare a fresh pitch made of red soil instead. The new pitch could not be adequately prepared on short notice and led to even slower conditions.

The pitch curator in Lucknow has been replaced by Sanjeev Agarwal from Gwalior, in an attempt to have it ready ahead of the return of home-and-away fixtures in the IPL in March.

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