‘You just have to be patient’
He has demanded the attention of world cricket since making his international debut in 2019 and Rahkeem Cornwall, affectionately known as Jimbo owing to his 180-kg frame, made another statement with his off-spin in the two-match Test series against Bangladesh.
Cornwall bagged a total of nine wickets in the second Test, including four in the second innings to bundle Bangladesh out for 213 as hosts found themselves on the receiving end of a 2-0 series whitewash.
Nice. It's a series win in Asia since 2012 for the first time. Coming here without some players, with the protocols and so on. Very thankful to God for opportunity to captain West Indies. Boys stuck to their plans, they were very disciplined. Very proud of the boys. Means everything back home. Cricket means everything to us. People will be proud. People wrote us off. But we kept it simple, enjoyed it, and we proved them wrong.
The 28-year-old kept troubling the Bangladeshi batters with tight line and length and ended up with the figures of four for 105 runs in the second innings.
He also took a brilliant catch at slip off the bowling of Jomel Warrican, diving in front to dismiss Mehedi Hasan Miraz, the final Bangladesh wicket to fall and the trigger for the visitors' celebrations to begin.
It was a first overseas series win since 2017 for West Indies and, more importantly, it came when the visitors were without their top cricketers, who opted to skip the tour.
"I think it was a good performance. The whole team had a good energy from day one. The coaching staff backed us. Once the conditions give a bit of spin, I enjoy it," Cornwall said after the game.
The cricketer from Antigua announced himself by scalping ten wickets in a Test against Afghanistan in 2019, including a seven-wicket haul.
Cornwall utilised the bounce of the pitch and kept it simple by consistently bowling in the right areas and asking questions of the Bangladeshi batsmen. He picked up a five-wicket haul in the warm-up game and, although he bagged just two in the first innings and three in the second innings of the first Test, his best was about to come.
Coming into the fourth day, Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque became Conrwall's first victim, getting caught behind off a delivery that kept away and had the extra bounce to surprise the left-hander. He then got rewarded for bowling at the stumps, picking up the crucial wickets of Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das and Mohammad Mithun at important moments.
"I baked myself in and tried to put the ball in the right areas. You just have to be patient, be consistent and build pressure. I've been doing a lot of work in the morning in slip fielding. When the ball comes to me, I want to catch it," said the man-of-the-match.