Boyd Rankin says his call-up into the England Test squad for this winter's Ashes tour came as a big surprise.
The giant Warwickshire star, who is 6'8" and can bowl at 90mph, has been picked with the bouncy pitches of Australia very much in mind.
He made 37 ODI appearances for Ireland before deciding to try to break into the England set-up, with Test cricket the goal.
He made his one-day international debut for England this summer, impressing against Australia, and did enough to earn selection for the Ashes series Down Under.
England's chief selector Geoff Miller said: "He's a very difficult person to bat against - so I think in Australian conditions he'll be very, very difficult for them and a threat for us."
Rankin, 24, had been widely tipped for a call-up, but he insists he had not necessarily expected to be selected.
"I've had some good performances in the last few weeks in the ODI series but it is a big surprise when you get that phone call," he said, adding that he believes he can make a big impact in Australia.
"I've shown what I can do and I think with the pitches out there, with that extra pace and bounce that I can trouble the batsmen.
"(Surrey fast bowler) Chris Tremlett showed that in the last series that it does help a lot. I'm looking forward to the challenge and if I get my chance hopefully I will take it."
Rankin, who grew up on his family's farm in Co Tyrone, says he has no regrets about throwing his lot in with England.
"I think I've come a long way. I suppose it is a bit strange, coming from a farm in Ireland but I'm really looking forward to the next few months and I'm really looking forward to it," he said.
"I'm going to have to work hard and try and get into the team. I always wanted to play at the highest level. My ambition was to play Test match cricket. In terms of Ireland I have no regrets."
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