Interview – Boyd Rankin: “Test cricket will always have a buzz about it”
March 13th 2019 | International
DEHRADUN – Boyd Rankin, the 6’8” pace bowler who debuted for Ireland in 2003 at the age of 19, has had a busy six weeks having played in every match on the current tour. Despite this, he is feeling good and ready for what, if selected, will be his third Test match appearance in his 16th year in international cricket.
If Ireland’s Boyd Rankin steps out on Friday as part of Ireland Men’s Test playing eleven, it will be yet another personal ‘Test cricket first’ for the 34-year old:
• First Test match (for England against Australia in 2014)
• First Test match for Ireland (against Pakistan in 2018)
• First-ever wicket-taker for Ireland in Test cricket (against Pakistan in 2018)
Now being part of Ireland’s first-ever overseas Test may be added, and he is preparing to play his part in this historic match if called upon.
Speaking from the team hotel in Dehradun, he said:
“It’s been a long tour so far and it’s been pretty hectic since arriving in India. I’ve been involved in all the games, but the body feels pretty good at the moment.”
“Saying that, the Test will be tough work for everyone, especially not playing any longer format cricket going into the match.”
“As an experience, it’s going to be hard to beat the feeling around Ireland’s first Test last year, but it’s always very special to play a Test match for your country and it will always have a buzz about it. Once we take the field it will be down to business of trying to win a game of cricket.”
Image: Rankin bowling during Ireland Men’s inaugural Test match in 2018
Being an integral part of the Irish bowling unit on the tour, he said:
“I feel the bowlers did a pretty good job during the one-day series. Maybe we could have capitalised on good starts with the ball, but that’s one day cricket - there is time to rebuild the innings and they were allowed to play well at times.”
“It will be another key battle in the Test match - our bowlers versus their batters - and if we bowl well it will give us a great chance to win the Test.”
“I don’t really expect too much difference with the red ball opposed to the white. It might swing early, but the ball will get soft quickly. So it will be hard for the seamers as Test progresses, but we are hoping there might be some reverse swing later in the innings with the wickets being pretty abrasive.”
Asked about the last couple of days, since the end of the ODI series, he said:
“We have netted on the main square most of the time which has been good as its very similar to the wickets we have been playing on. The lads have all been training really hard and looking forward to the challenge of Test cricket.”
“A few of us travelled into Dehradun to have a look around and have some lunch at another hotel which was nice to break up the routine of training/playing and spending a lot of time in our hotel. There isn’t much else to do here, but it’s been nice to have a games room here with pool and table tennis to kill some time. We have been very well looked after by the hotel staff here which has been great.”
Rankin has played 11 times (across T20Is and ODIs) on the current tour of Oman and India, claiming 16 wickets. If selected, this will be his 129th appearance for the men in green – a career that has seen him take more than 190 international wickets for Ireland – currently the 9th highest international wicket-taker for his country.
The Ireland Men’s team is in action on Friday in the one-off Test match against Afghanistan.
A livestream will be available, with details posted on Cricket Ireland social media channels.
Ireland’s Test Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker