Joe Root’s innings was composed, calculated and mature but, ultimately, it wasn’t enough to help England to victory in their World Cup warm-up against Pakistan yesterday morning.
On the same two-paced Sydney pitch on which they comfortably beat the West Indies earlier this week, Root hit 85 as England - who had earlier elected to bat - posted a seemingly below-par total of 250.
And that never seemed enough once Misbah-ul-Haq got into the mood. He finished unbeaten on 91 from 99 balls as Pakistan strolled home by four wickets, with seven balls to spare.
Root, entering the World Cup as one of the tournament’s brightest young talents, did his emerging reputation no harm with a patient innings, which saw him hit just four boundaries and one six.
His repertoire of sweeps, reverse-sweeps and ramp shots were again displayed, and he showed both a mature willing to run hard between the wickets and a calm head against Pakistan’s spinners.
With skipper Eoin Morgan once again failing - since scoring a hundred against Australia last month, he has posted scores of 0, 2 and 0, and been dismissed five times in the space of 19 balls - the emergence of Root seems more important than ever.
After being overlooked for the one-day vice-captaincy, which instead went to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, Root may feel he has a point to prove - and what better stage to do it?
Meanwhile, Jack Leaning and Will Rhodes have both signed new contracts with Yorkshire, the County Champions have announced.
Leaning - the son of former Sheffield United goalkeeper Andy - played 10 Championship matches last season and averaged 38 with the bat, adding a one-day century against Essex at Scarborough. Rhodes, a 19-year-old all-rounder from Hull, has also featured in limited-overs cricket and represented England Under-19s.
The pair are now committed to the club until the end of 2017 and follow opening batsmen Adam Lyth and Alex Lees and seamers Ryan Sidebottom and Steven Patterson in signing new deals since the turn of the year.