Denly admitted he got carried away with the moment and went for one shot too many as he looked to take advantage of a West Indies attack that had lost Keemo Paul, who had been taken away on a stretcher suffering from a thigh strain.
“Yeah, it (century) was in the back of my mind, I wasn’t going to lie. It was a pretty tame ending, wasn’t it?” said Denly. “I was always going to try and go after a bit of width if they offered it up. Unfortunately, I just got a toe-end on it.
“The Ashes are a long way away. I’ve said before that playing in the Ashes would be an absolute dream. I think every English cricketer dreams of playing in an Ashes series and I’d be lying if I wasn’t thinking about it. But there’s a lot of cricket before that.”
Root was impressed with Denly but he will need to start the county season well to have a chance of keeping his place.
James Vince scored 76 in his final innings of last winter but was still dropped when the Test summer started against Pakistan.
“He (Denly) played beautifully I thought,” said Root. “It was really important we got off to a good start having got into a position of strength after a wonderful day yesterday. I thought he played with good balance, good style and grace – as you’d expect him to when he gets runs. He should have a lot of confidence with the way he played.”