Ben Foakes, England's wicket-keeper batsman, starred on his one-day international debut, rescuing his side from a perilous 101/6 in a chase of Ireland's 198 to complete a four-wicket win.
However, despite his heroics in Dublin on Friday, 3 May, he knows it won't be easy to be a regular in the No.1 ODI side in the world. He was only called up for this series because Sam Billings was ruled out with injury, and Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow were rested after a busy Indian Premier League.
"Can I break into the team? Probably not," Foakes admitted after the match. "Jos is probably the best 'keeper-batsman in the world and Jonny is probably second, if not first. It's ridiculous.
🏆 Player of the Match on Test debut— ICC (@ICC) May 3, 2019
🏆 Player of the Match on ODI debut
Ben Foakes has had a stunning start to his international career! 👏 👏
The first team to play a T20I against him, watch out! pic.twitter.com/lp12W1mv8M
"So just to get the game has been great. It's something I didn't expect. I didn't really think I'd make my debut."
Coming in at No.6, Foakes survived a close lbw call to top-score with 61*, combining with Tom Curran to add 98 for an unbroken seventh-wicket partnership. He played a patient knock, soaking up the pressure and accumulating without doing anything fancy. His 76-ball knock included just one six and three fours.
"It was a bit of a grind," he explained. "It was a rebuilding job. It suited my game. I could get my head down and fight it out a bit.
There were six debutants on show when Ireland faced England, and while many of them left their mark, only one could have the final say.#IREvENG REPORT 👇https://t.co/kxn213aLT6— ICC (@ICC) May 3, 2019
"They were tricky conditions – it was nipping about a bit – so with their bowlers we had to stick in and take what was on offer. Because we bowled so well and restricted them to less than 200, the run-rate never got beyond us."
Eoin Morgan, his captain, was delighted with the hard-fought win. "I knew it would be challenging at stages but the bowlers did a great job," he said. "Three or four of us batted poorly but Ben Foakes batted superbly on debut and he and Tom Curran got us over the line.
"We found a way to win today, which is nice."