'He is a proven match-winner' - Holder backs Cornwall to make an impact in third Test
West Indies skipper Jason Holder has hinted at the inclusion of Rahkeem Cornwall for the series-deciding third Test against England after backing the 27-year-old to finish as the "best spinner of the series".
Cornwall was not picked for the first two Tests despite registering 10 wickets in his previous outing against Afghanistan in November.
The West Indies team management went with a four-pronged seam attack in both the contests with the spin bowling duties performed by all-rounder Roston Chase.
With the series now square at 1-1 and the fitness of some of the pacers under the scanner, it is likely that Cornwall could feature in just the third Test of his budding international career.
Showing confidence in the Antiguan's abilities, Holder believes Cornwall has the talent to out-perform England off-spinner Dom Bess.
"If he [Cornwall] does come in he is a wicket-taker and he has proven himself to be a match-winner, not only at the regional level but in his last Test match when he got 10 wickets," he said.
"I think he is a quality off-spinner and no doubt to me he would be the best spinner on show in this series."
With a first-class century to his name, Cornwall also adds batting depth to the West Indies lineup even though his primary suit is bowling.
"He is always a wicket-taking option for us. But not only that he brings a bit more with slip catching and batting as well -- and he brings a lot of control with his art," Holder stated.
While West Indies' bowlers have been effective in their nagging lines throughout the series thus far, the tourists' fragile top-order seems to be their biggest concern at the moment.
Shai Hope's lengthy sequence of failures in Test cricket has caused critics to question his place in the team. Although Hope boasts an average of over 50 in ODIs, he has not crossed 30 in his last 10 Test innings.
But Holder supported his fellow Bajan to recover his form and return to his prolific self in due course.
"I'm 100 percent behind Shai, we all know what he can produce," he said.
"He's done it before at this level in Test cricket, he's arguably one of the best one-day batsmen in the world and we know the calibre of player he can be, so I've got full confidence in Shai to get some runs."
Holder maintained that the mood in the West Indies camp was positive as they are on the brink of creating history if they prevail in the upcoming clash to clinch their first Test series win in England in 32 years.
"We still have a really good opportunity to win this series and everybody's upbeat for the occasion because we know what's at stake."