Joe Root's Test debut for England in Nagpur in 2012 exemplified the qualities which had attracted coaches from an early age. He began with England's sixth longest debut innings in terms of balls faced, 73 from 229 balls as he displayed the patience and discrimination demanded by a desperately slow surface.
Root had never been a strikingly heavy scorer as he worked through the ranks, nor was he particularly athletic, but his systematic approach to batting was that of a young batsman who would not sell his wicket easily and gave England hope that he would be able to attune his game to the highest level.
Root, a slender batsman who relies more on precision than weight of stroke, has already drawn comparisons with two of Yorkshire's finest batsmen. His patience and stubbornness at the crease had Geoffrey Boycott gushing that he reminded him of himself. While many see some of Michael Vaughan in Root's front-foot drive - the pair also both attended Sheffield Collegiate.
Root made his mark with the England Under-19 squad in Bangladesh, shortly before the youth World Cup in New Zealand in 2010. He signed a three-year contract with Yorkshire that year. He narrowly missed out on scoring 1000 runs in his first full season with the first XI, though his performances earned him a shot with England Lions.
2011 was a breakthrough season for Root, as he made 1,013 runs at 36.17 but would have been disappointed not to turn the six times he passed fifty into more than one century. It was a bright point in a poor campaign for Yorkshire who were relegated from Division One of the County Championship. Root again toured with England Lions that winter and made an unbeaten century in Sri Lanka to boost his return after seven previous lean innings on the tour that also took in List A matches in Bangladesh.
Back in England, Root, like most batsman, struggled during a rainy 2012 summer but perfectly demonstrated his talent with an unbeaten 222 against Hampshire at West End. He was named Cricket Writer's Club Young Player of the Year and earned a call up to the England senior squad on the tour of India.
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