It is no secret that test cricket may become slow-paced and unexciting. Sessions can go by when both teams don’t do much on the field. If two set batsmen are batting, the bowling team may just be on a leather hunt without much energy. However, unlike T20 and ODI, the set batsmen may accelerate at a pace that may not be thrilling for the spectators. These factors have resulted in test cricket losing out eyeballs and crowds to ODI and T20s. Over the years, white-ball cricket has become far more glamourous and glitzy for the audience watching it.
After the advent of T20 cricket, administrators have been forced to introduce exciting frills to test cricket as well. The day and night version has been introduced, a lot of fanfare has been attached to the World Test Championship, publicity has picked up, eye-catching montages are made by the broadcasters and other such measures have been taken. Another important development that has happened is how to test players have been hugely influenced after playing T20 leagues. A new brand of cricket is played by today’s youngsters. Players like KL Rahul, Gill, Root, Stokes, Warner and Pant do not play the conservative attrition style of cricket anymore. Big shots are played on regular occasions and big totals have been chased down on the final day without fear of losing. Headingly 2019 and Gabba 2021 are examples of this modern way of cricket.
However, in the times of social media and reels, one thing that has changed test cricket forever is the interaction of fans with the players and game. Everyone is trying to be the centre of attention and go viral on social media. Players put up their videos working out or dancing on social media to gain eyeballs. Fans to do it to stand out. All of this together makes people take notice of test cricket. One such fan that has taken the cricketing world by storm is Jarvo. He has become a rockstar by invading the pitch during the second and third tests of the ongoing India tour of England. He walked into the pitch during the second test when the Indian players were taking fielding positions and acted as if he was part of the team. He wore the official Indian jersey. Security was caught off guard and needed time before walking him off the field.
In the third test, it was far more hilarious. After Sharma got out, everyone expected Kohli to walk in but a fully kit-up Jarvo walked in to bat. He put on a full-fledged cricketing gear, including a pad, helmet, and gloves even wore a mask. However, the security staff took him out again. He was banned from entering Headingly stadium for life. Jarvo is a professional actor, filmmaker and prankster. His two acts in the tests made him a favourite of fans. He was heard saying that he was India’s first white player which was extremely funny.
In a recent interview, he spoke of how much love he got from the Indian fans. He was pleased by Siraj’s reaction on the field. Siraj could not stop laughing when Jarvi invaded the pitch. He also spoke of how Ashwin retweeted his video. He also stated that he would support India if the World Cup finals had India and England. Jarvo was at his comical best when he was asked a question about how he came to bat no. 4 in the Headingly test. He said, “When I got there, the English team got scared because they knew I would win the game for India. So, they made me go out.”
The entire Jarvi episode has filled the series with unexpected comedy. Fans have had a good time with all the banter that has occurred each time he has walked into the pitch. Memes have been shared and he has been termed as a hero. In a fiercely fought series, this has come as a much-needed respite.