Countdown to the Ashes: 21 days to go

McGrath happy at England's threat to come out swinging
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The Independent Online

Glenn McGrath and his Australia captain, Ricky Ponting, have no problems with reports suggesting the England batsmen are planning to take on the veteran bowler to try to undermine his confidence in the early stages of the Ashes.

"Let them go for it, that's all I'm going to say," Ponting said.

McGrath's bowling has steadily improved during the Champions Trophy, and the paceman took 3 for 22 to help seal victory over New Zealand in the semi-final. He said of England: "I'll be happy if they came out like that. Each game I've played [since coming back from injury], I've put a little piece of the puzzle back together. It's feeling pretty good at the moment, I was happy [during the semi-final]. There were a few little errors I can still improve but it's looking pretty good.

"That is what I wanted to achieve on this tour and at the moment I am not too far away from 100 per cent."