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McGrath hits back at his critics

"Don't write me off. Whenever people have written me off, I have always proved them wrong," the paceman said.

india Updated: May 07, 2006 13:48 IST

Australian pace spearhead has hit back at the critics who wrote his obituary claiming he had enough firepower under his belly to prove them wrong.

"Don't write me off. Whenever people have written me off, I have always proved them wrong," McGrath said.

"People can say what they want but all it means is I'll be proving them wrong again. I'm really in the same position as every other player because the Ashes will be our first series after a long break," the highest wicket-taking Test paceman told Australian newspaper The Sunday Telegraph.

"I can't see why some people are singling me out. I've been working on a number of things I believe will make me an even better bowler come the start of the Ashes."

"I don't say things just for the effect. I say things because I believe them. I've been back working hard for a couple of months and feel very fresh," the 36-year-old pacer said.

McGrath said he wants to regain his top-three ranking in the Australia team.

"Binger (Brett Lee) and Huss (Michael Hussey) have had great years, so I expect to slide down the rankings. One of my goals is to make it back into the top three."

McGrath missed Australia's tours to South Africa and Bangladesh this year to be by the side of his wife Jane, who is fighting cancer for the third time.

Since then his place in the world number one team has been unfairly questioned.

Some wonder if he will have the same fire, if his body will hold up, or if he can regain his robotic-like rhythm to again terrorise England.

There is already debate about the best course of action to ensure he is right for the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane on November 23.