Joe Root, widely regarded as England’s most prized asset, is in a group of players alongside county colleague Kane Williamson who are seen to be vying for the tag of the world’s best batsman.
Root, Williamson, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and AB De Villiers are often spoken about in the same breath.
In 2017, Root joined them all as captains of their respective countries, taking charge of England’s Test team for the first time against South Africa in July having been appointed earlier in the year.
And what a start he made, becoming the sixth Englishman to score a century on their captaincy debut, with his coming at Lord’s.
It was of significant frustration to Root that England lost the Ashes series which followed in the winter, as well as a short and sharp series in New Zealand, but they bounced back to beat India on home soil in the 2018 summer.
He and England will get another shot at the Aussies at home in 2019.
The Yorkshireman’s stock has risen rapidly in recent years, and he has occupied the number one spot in the Test Match rankings. He is a two-time Ashes winner and a two-time County Championship winner.
Michael Vaughan, who is linked to Root’s home club Sheffield Collegiate, has played a major part in his development as a cricketer.
There are plenty of similarities in the pair’s games, from that elegant front foot drive down to the fact that both bowl – or bowled in Vaughan’s case – useful part-time off-spin.
Root debuted for Yorkshire in 2009 and for England in 2012.
Although he has found a home in the top order for county and country, whatever the colour of ball, he did open the batting earlier in his career and has done so for England too.
He helped to win the Ashes in 2013 and 2015 and the Championship in 2014 and 2015, even captaining Yorkshire during the first of those title successes and lifting the trophy at Trent Bridge.
In 2004, Root captained Yorkshire Under 13s to a County Championship win over Lancashire, played as a single innings match. He scored 58.
He debuted for Sheffield Collegiate’s first team in a Yorkshire Premier League match alongside his father Matt aged 15 in 2006.
Root also averaged 61 in seven matches for Yorkshire’s Under 15s side through the summer.
In 2008, he scored an unbeaten 122 for the Academy in a one-day match against Scotland under 19s at Edinburgh in June before amassing 163 not out from number three in a magnificent second-team Championship win over Leicestershire in June of the following year. Yorkshire were chasing 401, and he and Jonny Bairstow (201 not out) shared an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 358.
It played a part in earning him his first-team bow, scoring 63 as an opener in a 40-over match against Essex at Emerald Headingley in September.
He won the man-of-the-series award on the subsequent England Under 19s tour to Bangladesh in October.
Root played six matches for the Under 19s at the World Cup in New Zealand in January 2010 under the captaincy of Azeem Rafiq. He then played his first two first-class matches against Loughborough University and India A in May and June.
In 2011, his Championship debut against Worcestershire at New Road in April was one of 15 matches he played on top of his England Lions debut against Sri Lanka A at Scarborough in August, a match in which he scored 66 – now his shirt number.
His maiden Championship hundred was a 160 against Sussex at the same ground later in the month. He finished his breakthrough first-class summer with 1,013 runs to his name.
Scored one-day and first-class tons for the Lions against Sri Lanka A on tour in February 2012 and against the touring West Indians in May, pushing him closer to a senior call-up. And he continued to excel for his county with 125 against Northamptonshire in May and a superb double against Hampshire at Southampton in July on a spicy pitch.
Root also returned some valuable contributions against the white ball and was promoted to number three in the order of Yorkshire’s Twenty20 team.
Capped by Yorkshire in August before being named as PCA’s and Cricket Writers Club’s Young Player of the Year.
He scored 73 off 229 balls on Test debut against India at Nagpur batting at number six in December 2012 as England won the series. Debuted for England in T20 cricket just before Christmas before making his ODI bow against India in the New Year.
Having scored hundreds in both his Championship appearances for Yorkshire against Durham and Derbyshire in 2013, he went on to hit his maiden Test century on his home ground at Headingley in the summer series against the Kiwis – a 167-ball 104 from the middle order.
He then delighted a packed Lord’s having been promoted to open the batting with Alastair Cook, hitting 180 off 338 balls in an Ashes Test as England went on to win the series.
Ahead of the winter Ashes series, he was moved back down to number six due to some stunning form from Michael Carberry.
In 2014, Root scored his maiden one-day international ton against West Indies at Antigua in March, batting through the pain of a broken thumb.
He returned to fitness and captained Yorkshire against Middlesex at Lord’s and, later in the season, their title-clinching win at Notts. He was later named in the ICC’s Test team of the Year having hit an unbeaten 200 against Sri Lanka at Lord’s in June.
In 2015, Root scored five international centuries in the calendar year, two in Tests and three in one-day internationals. His haul of 1,278 Test runs in the year was more than anyone else, earning him the tag of the world’s best batsman and an Ashes winning medal.
Root’s Test career best score of 254 not out came in the Old Trafford Test of a 2-2 summer drawn against Pakistan in 2016. He had played in the World T20 final earlier in the year.
In 2017, he played a handful of games for Yorkshire in one-day and Championship cricket, and he went on to score a pink ball Test century against the West Indies at Edgbaston in August.
He also scored a one-day international century against Bangladesh in the opening game of the Champions Trophy, a career best 133 not out.
This year saw him pass 5,000 Test career runs and reach 4,000 ODI runs.
In 2018, Root will have wanted more centuries, but remained a consistent performer, regularly reaching 50 in both Test and ODI cricket.
But he managed to score back-to-back ODI centuries against India at Lord’s and Emerald Headingley in July followed by a summer ending Test century at the Oval in September.
In a Championship victory over Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford in July, he bowled Yorkshire to victory with a career best haul of 4-5.
Root signed a short-term deal with Australian Big Bash side Sydney Thunder ahead of a huge summer of white ball cricket with England in 2019, highlighted by a one-day World Cup at home.
NameJoseph Edward Root
BornDecember 30, 1990, Sheffield, Yorkshire
RoleRight-handed batsman/right-arm offbreak
County Debut Yorkshire v Essex at Leeds, Sep 27, 2009
First ClassYorkshire v Loughborough MCCU at Leeds, May 10-12, 2010