England's bid to retain the Cricket World Cup didn't get off to the best of starts, with a thrashing by New Zealand, but Joe Root once again showed his class.
The Sheffield-born star's 77, which included four fours and a six, was one of the few highlights of a hugely disappointing display by the team, though he insisted they could still make it all the way.
They will need him to be at his best to manage that but luckily he has rarely let the national side down since completing his rapid rise from gifted schoolboy to the international ranks.
These photos of a young Joe Root at school in Sheffield and during his formative years on the cricket pitch show how he was clearly blessed with talent from an early age.
They also reveal how Joe is adept with any kind of bat and cricket's loss could very easily have been table tennis' gain had he decided to pursue a career in ping pong, at which he also excelled as a schoolboy.
He followed in his father Matthew's footsteps, and those of former Yorkshire and England star Michael Vaughan, by joining Sheffield Collegiate CC, based at Abbeydale Park.
Joe Root was only 16 when he made his second team debut for Yorkshire County Cricket Club on July 18, 2007, hitting 57 as part of a 133 first-wicket stand with Adam Lyth. Two years later, in September 2009, he made his first team bow and again grasped the opportunity, top scoring for the hosts at Headingley in a defeat to Essex. He even took a superb diving catch to account for Essex and England legend Alastair Cook.
He made his Test debut in 2012, hitting 73 and 20 not out to help England achieve a first Test series win in India for nearly 30 years. He has gone on to amass more than 11,000 Test runs at an average of more than 50, while also excelling in T20 and One Day international cricket, with an impressive average of over 49 in the latter format.