Calcutta: Cricket used to be more about technique and discipline prior to the advent of the limited-overs format, both Ted Dexter and Nari Contractor reflected.
It was an evening of nostalgia as the oldest living captains of England and India relived the “good old days” during a felicitation function organised by the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
The septuagenarians may well have their own set of views regarding the way cricket has evolved, especially with the increasing popularity of Twenty20. However, both Dexter and Contractor did point out that excess of one-dayers and Twenty20 matches are producing more results in Tests.
Dexter, though, highlighted the adaptability of the game. “Despite all the changes cricket has undergone so far, it still remains adaptable. No matter the newer formats and the changes (in rules), cricket continues to be absorbing,” he stressed.
“Twenty20 is pure entertainment,” said Contractor. “The 50-over and 20-over matches are the causes of more and more results in Tests.
“You just need to have a look at the shots being played lately — reverse-sweeps, scoops and so on — in Test matches as well, which lead to both quick runs as well as an early dismissal of a batsman.”
Moving on to England’s chances in the third Test, beginning from Wednesday, at the Eden, Dexter views the visitors’ brilliant comeback in the previous encounter as their X-factor for the remainder of the series.
“A few days ago, I was really very worried as England had lost on both occasions when I’ve been here in the past,” he quipped, adding: “England made a superb comeback after being thrashed in the first Test. This team certainly has good skills to turn things around.
“Nonetheless, both teams should re-consider their tactics ahead of a fresh battle because there’s so much in the game than just cricket.”
Dexter also elaborated the highs of England cricket he has witnessed so far.
“I was the first chief selector who insisted that players should have a contract with the country’s cricket board.
“As and when it materialised, the team then became a much better unit and the performances too were a testimony to it.
“In the recent past, England were truly outstanding when they rose to the top of the Test rankings, including their win Down Under in 2010,” he said.