The West Indies selectors, on Saturday (August 10) have named Rahkeem Cornwall, the 26-year-old offspinning all-rounder, in the 13-member squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against India, set to begin from August 22.
Cornwall has been rewarded for his impressive record for Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the West Indies Championship and West Indies ‘A’, since making his first-class debut just under five years ago. He has picked 260 wickets at 23.90 apiece in 55 first-class matches, and also averages above 24 with one hundred and 13 fifties to his credit.
“Rahkeem has been performing consistently over a long period of time and has proven to be a match-winner, so we believe his elevation to the Test squad is merited at this time,” said Robert Haynes, the head of the interim selection panel of Cricket West Indies.
“We believe he can provide an attacking option to our bowling attack with his sharp turn and extra bounce. He can also lend a bit of depth to the batting, so we are looking forward to him coming into the squad and making a valuable contribution.”
The rest of the squad, barring the injured Alzarri Joseph and slow left-armer Jomel Warrican, is similar to the one that registered a 2-1 series win over England earlier in the year. “Alzarri is undergoing remedial work and we are monitoring his recovery, but we do not think he is ready yet to last five days of a gruelling Test match,” Haynes said on Joseph. “He represents a key part of West Indies future and we do not want to rush him back. We have two important series coming up later in the year in India and we want to be very careful how his recovery is managed.”
Keemo Paul, who had come in as a replacement for the injured Jason Holder in the third Test, also retains his place in the side. The side will be led by Holder and will be the first series for both the teams under the ICC Test Championship.
Squad: Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rakheem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach