Stand-in West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite admitted on Sunday that giant off-spinner Rakheem Cornwall will be key to his weakened team’s hopes of defeating Bangladesh in their two-Test series which starts this week.
Cornwall, who stands at 1.96m (6ft 5ins) and weighs in around 140kg, has only played three Tests in his career. But Asian pitches suit him — he returned figures of 7-75 in a one-off game against Afghanistan in Lucknow in 2019.
“I know Rakheem’s ability. I knew he was always a quality off-spinner. It is good to see him in these conditions. I know he will do well in this Test,” said Brathwaite. “As a bowling unit we have to stick to the plans, bowl to the field. Create pressure with dot balls. Wickets will come.”
Cornwall is believed to be the heaviest man to have played Test cricket. He warmed up for the Test series, which starts on Wednesday in Chittagong, with a first innings haul of 5-47 as the West Indies drew a three-day warm-up game against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI.
Brathwaite was also one of the top performers in the match for the visiting side, hitting 85 off 187 balls in team’s first innings total of 257 runs. West Indies bowled out the hosts for 160 to take a 97-run first innings lead.
Nkrumah Bonner made 80 and John Campbell added 68 to his 44 from the first innings as the West Indies scored 291 runs in the second innings to set up a target of 389 runs for the BCB XI.
Brathwaite and his BCB XI counterpart Nurul Hasan agreed a draw after the home team reached 63-2 in the second innings on the third day and final day. Cornwall didn’t bowl in the second innings as the tourists opted to keep him under wraps.
Brathwaite will be leading a weakened West Indies team against Bangladesh after several players, including regular captain Jason Holder opted out of the tour due to Coronavirus outbreak.
In the ODI series, they were whitewashed 3-0. Brathwaite also led the West Indies in their previous Test series in Bangladesh in 2018 when they lost both Tests.