After playing domestic Cricket for almost a decade, Rahkeem Cornwall finally got to make his Test debut for the West Indies last year. His first Test wicket was of Cheteshwar Pujara, caught at backward point. For most Cricketers, that would be the highlight of their entire Cricketing career, but not for Cornwall.
In 2016, at a warm up game against India representing the President’s XI, Cornwall took out the entire middle order at once, removing Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in quick time.
In a chat with ESPNCricinfo, Cornwall narrated his memories of that spell, saying, “That was in a President’s XI game in St Kitts. I got a five-wicket haul in that game as well. I got Kohli lbw and Rahane caught bat-pad. They were basic off-spin deliveries with just a little bit of bounce. I also got Pujara bowled in that match, he was attempting a sweep shot.”
Such was the impact Cornwall had on the Indian batsmen, that Indian skipper Virat Kohli wanted him to come and bowl to the Indian batsmen at the nets.
Cornwall continued, “I see it as a breakthrough moment for me where one of the best batsmen in the world is asking for me to come to bowl to him in the nets. You learn a lot. A lot of patience, stick to line and length consistently rather than being all over the place.”
3 years later, Cornwall once again took the wicket of a rock solid Pujara, who is an excellent player of spin. Batting on 6 off 24, to a slightly short ball, Pujara rocked back, attempting to cut it, but all the batsman managed was a top edge for Shamarh Brooks to take a fine catch at backward point.
Cornwall talked about his maiden Test wicket, saying, “He is a player that plays spin well. He looks to use his feet to the spinners. So basically, I was trying to keep him in the crease, and I got a little bit of bounce and he cut it to backward point. Probably catch I’m a little bit off guard in terms of the bounce, yeah.”