Boyd Rankin: Ireland 'can cope' without injured paceman, says skipper William Porterfield

John Anderson and Barry McCarthy are two of skipper William Porterfield's bowling options
John Anderson and Barry McCarthy are two of skipper William Porterfield's bowling options

Ireland captain William Porterfield says his squad has enough strength in depth to cope without injured paceman Boyd Rankin ahead of their two one-day internationals against Pakistan.

Rankin, 32, will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his leg.

"The cover is starting to be there and we have other wicket-takers in the squad," said Porterfield.

"That's great to have when the likes of Boyd goes down. It's not potentially as big a blow as it would've been before."

Among Ireland coach John Bracewell's fast bowling options for the ODIs against Pakistan. which take place at Malahide on Thursday and Saturday, is Durham paceman Barry McCarthy.

"Barry made his debut against Sri Lanka in June, bowled fantastically well and carried that form into the matches with Afghanistan in Belfast," added the Irish skipper.

"It's good to have lads like that around the squad and doing very well. It shows the character he has and I think he's got a big future."

Ireland famously defeated Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup and almost repeated the feat when the countries last met on Irish soil.

Boyd Rankin fractured his left tibia during a training session
Boyd Rankin fractured his left tibia during a training session

"We tied in Dublin the last time they were here and it's a game we potentially could have won," observed Porterfield.

"We are still a side that is learning but hopefully we are learning very quickly.

"If it's a bit colder it might suit us a little bit better than Pakistan but they are a professional side and have shown what they can do in having a very good series against England. They will take a lot of confidence into these games."

Ed Joyce starred in the recent drawn series with Afghanistan, scoring two centuries as an opening batsman, and Porterfield expects him to continue in the role.

"There is competition to open the batting but Joycey, I think, is going to stay at the top. The way he's been playing and the form he is in, it would be wrong if he didn't stay there," argued the Irish captain.

Joyce indicated that he had enjoyed watching Pakistan's recent drawn Test series with England and was "expecting two good pitches at Malahide".

He said: "We are the underdogs, they are obviously a good side and go in as favourites. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us."

After the two encounters with Pakistan, Ireland will finish their season with further one-day internationals against South Africa on 25 September and Australia on 27 September - both in Benoni, South Africa.

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