Joe Root savoured a "special" day at the home of cricket after his unbeaten 178 helped England into an unassailable position on day three of the second Ashes Test at Lord's.
The Yorkshire opener, moved up to open alongside Alastair Cook at the start of the series, rewarded the faith of the selectors by crafting a superb 178no as England, resuming the day on 31-3, reached stumps 333-5 for a massive lead of 566.
"Today was very special," admitted Root. "As a kid, playing in the Ashes is the pinnacle and to get a hundred at Lord's is a very nice feeling."
Root, who at 22 became the youngest England player to hit a Test century at Lord's, admitted he had been made to work hard for his early runs by Australia's seamers.
"Last night, they bowled exceptionally well and we knew going into today we were going to have to play some really good cricket and earn the right to score the runs later on in the day," he said.
"We knew if we had wickets in hand later in the day, they would be tired and we would get opportunities to score."
Root said he did not allow the joy of reaching three figures distract him, adding: "I knew how important it was to hammer it home and get as many runs as possible. I wanted to build a partnership with Belly (Ian Bell) so I just kept thinking about that.
"I just want to score runs, it doesn't really matter where you play - whether it's at the top or in the middle - I just want to contribute for the team."