Joe Root has been in the limelight a lot recently for England - and he's made a big impact on the international scene as well as for his county Yorkshire last summer.
At just 22 years old he's got the best years of his career ahead of him; if he keeps on the straight and narrow unlike some other hot prospects in the English game. Ben Stokes *Cough* Matt Coles *Cough*
But what has Joe Root achieved so far in his relatively short career?
What brought him in to the English squad in the first place?
Well - he showed promise right from the word go. On his second team debut for Yorkshire he scored a half century. More impressive scores followed, and it was only a matter of time before he got his chance in the first team.
His chance came against Essex; in the final CB40 match of the 2009 season. His first XI debut was just as fine as his entrance to the second XI, hitting a half century opening the batting. His 63 turned accounted for over a third of his sides runs and after the game he described his impressive debut knock as "dream come true."
The England's under 19's squad is where a lot of young England stars start to shine on the international level. Michael Vaughan and Freddie Flintoff captained this side when they were both teenagers, showing that the under 19 stage is a vital stepping stone in the career of an aspiring international cricketer.
Root wasn't picked as captain for the team but in 2010 in the under 19 world cup. He was picked to open the batting. In two games he scored nearly a century in total, although these scores were against minor teams. His first two games were his big successes of the tournament from his personal playing point of view, as he made no major contribution to his teams totals in games against a strong India and then West Indies.
He'd done decent at the world cup but hadn't made a massive impact.
At this point few could predict that in two years time he would be a Yorkshire regular, holding several ODI caps and a single test cap.
In 3 of his one day games he hit half centuries and he has also hit a half century in his single test cap.
He can turn his arm over too; his gentle off break could claim a wicket or two once in a blue moon. Primarily, he can hold up and end for a couple of overs before the new ball is available.
The boy can field too - he's pretty much got the potential to have the full package. The video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4hJ6...layer_embedded
) is a brilliant piece of fielding by the young man, and a brilliant example of the ever changing game of cricket. You wouldn't have seen a batsman playing a shot like this never mind the fieldsman producing a piece of magic 30 years ago.
So is Joe Root destined for great things? Will he become a key player in this years ashes and beyond? Or will he become a flop? Will he drift away from the national team set up and never be heard of again?
Well, I think Root is destined to play a massive part against the Aussies this year. Against a relatively weak bowling line up he could deliver a lot of damage.
Against India in December he showed his potential in very tough conditions.He batted slowly, with patience, and although he scored only four boundaries he kept the scoreboard ticking over. For this reason I think he is more suited to opening the batting rather than coming in at number five/six. He and Cook could give the Aussie's a lot to think about early on in the innings.
If he puts in the hard work on the training ground and stays out of the media for the wrong reasons then I can't see a reason why he can't replace Andrew Strauss at the top of the English batting order.
Only time will tell if I'm right, but I'm rarely wrong! However, I would still love to hear the views of you, any comments at the bottom of the page are always appreciated!