Australian batsman Mike Hussey has rejected the ICC's Test rankings, which place his team at fifth, saying that the Aussies are "definitely better than that and the system is not a true reflection of their form."
Australia dropped to an all-time low of fifth after being blanked 0-2 in the just-concluded Test series against India but Hussey said the side does not deserve to be number five.
"I don't think we're the fifth-best team in the world. I don't think that's a true reflection of our team, we're definitely better than that," Hussey said.
"With the new Test championship coming in, that will probably give a better indication of where teams are at, and a better understanding of where teams are ranked. "I don't think about being fifth-best team in the world, I don't necessarily agree with that," he was quoted as saying by 'The Sydney Morning Herald'.
The proposed Test Championships, if contested now, would not feature Australia because the side is not inside the top-four bracket. "We need to get up to make sure we're fourth to get into that. We've got a couple of years to continue the curve of getting better every time. I think our team is getting better all the time," Hussey said.
"I have a strong belief in the personnel we've got, and the plans and processes we've put in place, that if we stick to what we know and don't get affected too much by the outside influences, I firmly believe we've got a great chance to play some excellent Test cricket in the next year," he added.
The 35-year-old also dismissed talk of any possible retirement plans after next year's World Cup in the sub-continent. "I don't feel the talk. I've always made a conscious decision to not take much notice of what goes on outside the team, I don't read a hell of a lot of press, I don't watch the TV that much," he said.
"I must admit last summer I found it a lot harder to get away from that because there seemed like a lot of speculation.
But certainly watching guys like Sachin Tendulkar play so well at 37, Steve Waugh played very well later in his career, Matthew Hayden played brilliantly, Justin Langer - there's so much evidence of players playing very well, well past 35," he added.
Hussey said as long as he has the faith of captain Ricky Ponting, he is not bothered about what is written about him in the press.
"I'm going to keep believing in myself, and I feel like I've still got the faith of Ricky, the coaching staff and the selectors.
As long as I keep believing that, I still feel like I've got a lot to offer."