When the time comes to look back on James Andersons career - and that time might not be so far away - the options for highlights packages will be plentiful.There have been many magical spells and memorable matches. There was the dream debut, the impeccable performance in Kolkata (2012), the first ten-for (against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 2010) and the unplayable spells against Sri Lanka earlier this year. And thats before any mention of the numerous Ashes-defining performances, such as the destruction of Edgbaston 2015, the determination of Nottingham 2013 and the relentlessness of Melbourne and Adelaide in 2010.But maybe it was a far less-heralded spell that typifies Anderson. A spell that left him with one of the great unwanted records in cricket.In December 2013, England reached Perth with their grip on the Ashes hanging by a thread. While Anderson - and his fellow seamers - had bowled admirably in the first innings of both the previous two Tests, Englands batsmen had been blown away by Mitchell Johnson and their fielders had failed to hold on to a succession of crucial chances. As a result, Anderson et al had been forced into the field again without the rest required for full recovery.By the time the Adelaide Test was at its halfway stage, it had become clear that the pillars of the best England side in living memory were crumbling. Broken in body or mind, they looked dispirited and disunited. Australia had something special in Johnson and England, their tools worn out, knew they were beaten.It was hot that week in Perth. Hell, its hot every week in Perth, but that week was ferociously, absurdly, breathlessly hot. In the press box - actually a tent that might have been designed as an effective method of torture (or an oven) - laptops had to be placed in the fridge as they overheated and at least one person fainted. If the Fremantle Doctor exists, he wasnt taking calls.Out in the middle, Anderson was trying to pick up the slack left by his colleagues. Through no fault of his own, Stuart Broad was off the field - and on crutches - having sustained a blow on the foot while batting. Graeme Swann had just been thrashed for 22 in an over - his last over in international cricket, as it transpired - and was coming to the conclusion that all his guile and experience could no longer conceal the fact that his exhausted elbow no longer allowed him to gain the dip and turn he once could. Tim Bresnan, for all his goodwill and efforts, was not the bowler he had been in 2010-11 - elbow operations do that to a bowler - and Ben Stokes was, at that stage, an unsophisticated batting allrounder. So Alastair Cook turned to his old friend Anderson. Anderson had opened the bowling for England that fourth morning. Just as he had bowled the final over on the third evening. After a couple of fruitless overs, Cook took him out of the firing line, knowing that he was too precious to use in such a hopeless cause. Australias lead was already around 450. The game had gone; the Ashes were going with it.But then Swann was thrashed for 22 in that over, Stokes was taken for 9 and the new ball became available. Where else could Cook turn? His strike bowler had become his stock bowler and was then required to be a strike bowler again. As ESPNcricinfo noted, Anderson was the sports car used to transport scaffolding. By the end of the series, he had bowled more overs than any other bowler.His reward? He was thrashed for 28 in an over by George Bailey. Thats the same George Bailey whom Anderson had famously clashed with in the Brisbane Test. George Bailey who, while at short-leg, had been having a few words with Anderson as he prepared to face Johnson, whereupon Anderson mentioned that a fellow in his first Test might like to pipe down and earn the right to an opinion. Michael Clarke, supporting his team-mate, strode in and told Anderson to prepare for a broken f****** arm. There are no rights and wrongs in there; its just history and context. Being smashed around like this by Bailey was adding insult to injury. No bowler has conceded more from an over in Test history.Its not much of a reward for answering his captains call, is it? Its not much of a reward for his fitness, his commitment, his loyalty to his captain and team. He deserved better. But as Clint Eastwood put it, deserve has nothing to do with it.Some see it as Andersons most heroic performance; some his lowest ebb. Theres no reason it cant be both.Perhaps there are similarities with his early arrival in India? Thats not to say this is a mission destined to fail. Not at all. History has taught us better than that.The point is more that, as in Perth, this is an episode that demonstrates Andersons remarkable character. It is an episode that demonstrates his unstinting desire to represent his country, to help his old friend Cook, and his competitive streak.Some bowlers, looking at the India line-up and the pitches they can expect to find, would look at this tour, exhale and wonder if their injury might not have been rather well timed. They might not malinger, but they certainly wouldnt push the recovery process as far as Anderson has. They would make sure they are fully recovered and look to return on the early summer surfaces of England, on which Anderson is still peerless. They wouldnt send videos of themselves bowling to the coaches to prove their fitness. They wouldnt arrive on tour three Tests before the medics originally said they would. They wouldnt push themselves in the gym, at his age and with his reputation, to go on a tour where he seemingly has so much to lose and so little to gain.Anderson has nothing to prove in India. He was magnificent in 2012. Series-defining good.But he was 30 then and hes 34 now. The window between injuries seems to be closing. The pace seems to be diminishing. The spirit is willing, but the body? The sword outwears its sheath; the soul outwears the breast. He found little swing in 2012 but hit the pitch hard enough to gain just enough seam movement to trouble the batsmen. Can he still do that?There is context here, too. India are spoiling to take Anderson down. The incident with Ravi Jadeja at Trent Bridge in 2014 was never satisfactorily resolved from an India point of view - the BCCI admitted at the time they saw their attempt to have Anderson banned as a service to world cricket - and they are passionately motivated to repay the trouble he has given them on the pitch and the abuse they allege he has given them both on and off it.But Anderson doesnt fear that. Instead, he seems to relish the battle. He is desperate to throw himself into a series where the ball wont swing, there wont be any pace and when his own powers would appear to be on the wane. He is as hungry to represent England as he was as a teenager; determined to go the extra mile and risk his personal reputation for the good of the team.You can see why Cook wants him. He knows that, whatever the match situation, he will have someone prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with him. He knows that, however bad things are, he can rely on Anderson. When times are tough, these things matter.Whatever happens in the next few weeks - and it seems as if Anderson is going to have to wait until the third Test, at least, before he wins a recall - its hard not to admire Jimmy Anderson. Sebastian Janikowski Jersey
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. -- Most satisfying to Russ Smith about No.WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- There was no slipup on the final lap this time, so Kyle Buschs victory celebration at Watkins Glen International was as sweet as it gets. Bumped aside a year ago by Brad Keselowski on the final lap as they sped around an oil-covered track, Busch held the reigning Sprint Cup champion at bay on a two-lap dash to the checkered flag Sunday. Busch kept his foot on the accelerator a tad longer than usual during his postrace burnout, even sticking half his body out the window while smoke swirled all around and the tires kept churning. "A big sigh of relief, just a deep breath. Whew!" said Busch, who also was victimized two years ago while leading on a green-white-checkered finish and finished third. "I was just trying to take it all in and figure it all out. The last couple of years here have been tough, and today it could have been tough again." Keselowski finished second in this race for the third straight time, and challenged Busch on the final lap, pulling to his rear bumper at one point. There was no bump this time. "We had a shot at it," Keselowski said. "I was going to have to wreck him to really get it, and I didnt want to do that. Theres racing and theres wrecking. Those are two different things. "Everybody defines them a little differently, and I guess thats the code you live your life by. If I was going to take out Kyle, it would have been wrecking in my mind, and theres a distinct difference." Racing can be all about luck sometimes, and Busch couldnt get much luckier than he was on this day. Polesitter Marcos Ambrose dominated the race, leading 51 laps, but his good fortune -- he was seeking his third straight Cup win at The Glen -- finally ran out just past the halfway point of the 90-lap race. Crew chief Dave Rogers was planning to have Busch pit on lap 60, but his crew noticed fluid on the track and brought the No. 18 Toyota in a lap early. Busch was in the pits when a caution flew and Ambrose had to pit under yellow, losing his spot to Busch at the front. "That was a game-changer right there," said Busch, who won from the pole in 2008 at The Glen. Busch held on through a series of cautions over the final 28 laps. Ambrose, who restarted 12th, crashed late trying to make a run with an ill-handling car and finished 23rd. He entered the race with an average finish of second in five previous starts at Watkins Glen and also had won all three Nationwide races hed entered at the storied road course in upstate New York. "Thats just the way it goes," Ambrose said. "We put on a strong showing. It wasnt our day, but weve had plenty of good days here." The field didnt have to worry about five-time Watkins Glen winner Tony Stewart. The man known as Smoke is out indefinnitely after breaking two bones in his right leg last Monday night in a sprint car race in Iowa.dddddddddddd Stewart, who has undergone two surgeries, saw his streak of 521 consecutive Cup starts come to an end. Max Papis drove Stewarts No. 14 Chevrolet on Sunday and finished 15th. Several drivers had stickers on their cars honouring Stewart with the message: "Get Well Smoke 14." Martin Truex Jr. was third, followed by Carl Edwards and Juan Pablo Montoya. Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top 10. Jeff Gordon entered the race with momentum in ninth place in the points standings after a second last week at Pocono, but his day was ruined early with a wreck on lap 15. The four-time Watkins Glen winner finished 36th and dropped to 13th in the standings with four races to go until the Chase for the Sprint Cup title starts. The top 10 drivers in points and the drivers from 11th to 20th with the most wins earn wild-card berths for the 10-race post-season. Kurt Busch moved into 11th place, just two points behind Truex and only four behind ninth-place Greg Biffle. Ambrose was unchallenged for the lead through the first half of the race, building a margin of nearly 3 seconds over Kyle Busch, who started fifth and was up to second by lap 21. Busch had been unable to close on Ambrose before a red flag flew midway through the race and was focused on the No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford in front. "Theyre better," Busch said of Ambrose. "Im trying to figure out where Im getting beat. Hes been driving away." On the ensuing restart on lap 43, Ambrose again sailed clear of the field, building a cushion of 3.5 seconds over Busch as the final pit stops loomed. The complexion of the race changed when Aric Almirola blew a right front tire and slid off course into a tire barrier, bringing out that fateful caution. When the race restarted, Busch was in front with Keselowski third and Ambrose 12th, and the car that had dominated the race out front became just ordinary in traffic, unable to move forward. Nine laps after the restart and struggling, Ambrose had picked up only one spot and trailed Busch by nearly 10 seconds. Truex managed to pass Busch on lap 65, but Busch banged past him in the Inner Loop seconds later and Keselowski followed into second. Keselowski stayed close for a while, but Busch began to pull away just as he had a year ago when oil spoiled his day. "It was a really, really sticky situation last year, and it wasnt all Brads fault," Busch said. "There was oil on the race track, but Brads the one that spun us out. It eventually cost us being able to make the Chase. I figured maybe he could do some of the same again, but he kept it clean today." 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