Already an England icon, Joe Root has delivered on the rich potential that has been spoken about ever since his emergence as a youngster at Sheffield Collegiate. Born into a family obsessed with the game, there are photos of Joe with a plastic bat in his hands just hours after his birth and he has gone on to more than justify the hype that has surrounded him.
Along with dad Matt and brother Billy – who has gone on to play for Nottinghamshire - he started out at Sheffield Collegiate, which also produced former England captain Michael Vaughan.
After coming through the Yorkshire age groups, he made his second XI debut as a 16-year-old, scoring 57 against Derbyshire and he made his List A bow, scoring 63 in 95 balls in his county’s Pro40 Division One defeat to Essex in September 2009. A First Class debut followed in May 2010 and, after featuring for the England under 19s and Lions, his steady progression resulted in an England call-up for the tour of India in 2012.
He made his full debut in the fourth Test at six in the order with scores of 73 and then 20 not out before making his T20 and ODI debuts later in the same tour, becoming the first batsman to score 30 or more in each of his first ODI innings.
After a 71 against New Zealand at Lord’s, Joe’s first Test hundred came with 104 on his home ground of Headingley in May 2013 and he was England’s top-scorer in a 2-0 Test series win before helping them to the final of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.
Having taken his first Test wicket in the opening Test against Australia, Joe made 180 in the second innings of the second Test at Lord’s, with England winning the series 3-0.
Against West Indies at the start of 2014 he produced a maiden ODI century followed with an innings of 107 in the third ODI, taking the man of the match award and player of the series award as England won 2-1.
He sparkled again with an unbeaten 200 off 298 balls in the opening Test against Sri Lanka in June 2014 and produced unbeaten innings of 154 in the first Test and 149 not out – which led to a man of the match award in the fourth Test - later that summer against India, scoring 518 runs in a 3-1 series victory. To cap an incredible year, Joe was crowned Wisden Cricketer of the year for 2014.
He became the youngest English player to score a century at a World Cup with 121 against Sri Lanka and scored his sixth Test ton with 182 not out in the second Test of the tour of the West Indies, passing 2000 Test runs.
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