But watching Root and Stokes battle back at a zesty five runs an over in glorious sunshine was a reminder that cricket – and all sport for that matter – is often best enjoyed by unhooking from the issues that blight its administration and simply drinking in what unfolds in front of you.
That’s it right there, isn’t it? Not just sport, but life. Seeing the forest for the trees. Separating what’s really important from what is simply trivial. Being able to sit back and simply see the beauty that exists in this big, old, sad world.
And cricket – on a nearly daily basis – brings us wide swaths of that beauty. In moments both big and small, it brings us the ballet, the drama, the grit that is inherent to sport
It also shows us – outside its lines – humanity’s ugly side. Its corruption, its greed, its hypocrisy.
But like in life, we are better off if we can take a few moments each day to forget about the horrors that exist, and focus on the beauty that exists in tandem with the evil. A Beethoven piano sonata, a Donna Tartt novel and, yes, a cracking counterattack on a perfect summer’s day in the heart of the world’s greatest city.
Just another lesson cricket can teach us. If we let it.