Cheers Joe

Joe Root, you beautiful boy. I’m not mad that your innings ruined a full day of potential work for me. I’m not mad that I’m going to have write twice as much tomorrow as a result of your batting. I’m not even mad that I’m going to have to wait until you get to 200 before I can start getting on with my life.

I’m not mad because you are doing what every English cricket fan has dreamt of for the last few decades: you’re embarrassing Australia. I know, we’ve not retained the famous little urn just yet, but it looks as good as guaranteed.

I had to watch as Mssrs. Warne, McGrath, Ponting et al. routinely made us look average. I had to endure that 5-0 thrashing down under. Oh how we all wished the shoe was on the other foot back in 2006.

And now, Lords, July 2013, and you’re sticking it to ’em. The youngest Englishman ever to score a century against Australia at Lords. The tables have turned and your youthful face is as good a metaphor for the changing of time as I can find, and I thank you for it.

I hope this latest (dare we dream double?) century is the first of a ridiculous amount. If you could add three or four more in this series alone I’d be eternally grateful.

The Ashes is, for me, the pinnacle of sporting events, to be held up with the football world cup and the Olympics in terms of its importance. A lot of people asked me what i thought the outcome would be this summer, and my response was always the same: I think we will win, but that won’t be enough. I want to humiliate them, as they have us in the past.

So thank you, Joe, for going at least some way to realising that today.