New Zealand's selectors monitored the progress of Tim Southee, a right-arm swing bowler, with great interest before handing him his Test debut against England in Napier while he was still 19. Southee responded with 5 for 55 before smashing 77 off 40 balls in the second innings with nine sixes to hint at a bright all-round future.
He's seemed destined for an international career from his early days. He made his first-class debut for Northern Districts at the age of 18 in late 2006-07 and the next season showed significant promise, claiming 6 for 68 in a particularly impressive effort against Auckland.
Named in the squad for the Under-19 World Cup, Southee received a major boost when he was called into the senior set-up for New Zealand's Twenty20 matches against England in early 2008. On debut, he took 1 for 38 in a losing cause at Eden Park. He was the second highest wicket-taker at the Under-19 World Cup in 2008 and won the Player-of-the-Tournament award for his 17 wickets which led New Zealand to the semi-finals.
He'd barely had time to unpack his bags when a full call-up came his way and he didn't disappoint.