Australia head coach Justin Langer said he feels like the "director of a soap opera" following Cameron Bancroft's interview regarding David Warner's role in the ball-tampering scandal.

Bancroft – whose nine-month suspension for his role in the ball-tampering controversy against South Africa in March expired on Saturday – discussed Warner's involvement in the fiasco during an interview aired on Boxing Day.

Australia were facing India in the third Test in Melbourne when Bancroft opened up on Warner's role and confirmed the left-armed batsman – who was banned for 12 months along with Steve Smith – devised the plan to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper.

Asked about the interview, Langer told reporters: "I feel like the director of a soap opera. I honestly do.

"Coaching is about man management and looking after people, caring for people, and that was just another distraction last week.

"There's a really good process in place that we're going to go through to get the boys back in the team, I liked seeing Cameron play last night."

Langer, meanwhile, said no one is "absolutely banging the door down" as he addressed Australia's batting woes.

India retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy with a comprehensive 137-run win against Australia at the MCG on Sunday.

Australia's batting woes were highlighted as under-fire opener Aaron Finch continued to struggle, while Mitch Marsh failed to capitalise on his recall, having missed the opening two Tests.

Marnus Labuschagne has been added to a 14-man squad for the fourth and final Test in Sydney, starting Thursday.

Langer said: "Try being a selector at the moment. We've got to be careful not to reward poor performances but … it's not as if the guys are absolutely banging the door down.

"Most of our batters knocking on the door are averaging in the 30s [in the Sheffield Shield]."

"The art of batting, we've got some work to do," Langer added. "Whether it's the system … whether it's something we've got to change in our psyche, I'm not sure. It's something everyone is looking at."

Aaron Finch says Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will be welcomed back into the Australia fold once their bans for ball tampering have ended.

Smith and Warner were banned from international and state cricket for 12 months following their involvement in the controversy against South Africa at Newlands in March, while Bancroft was handed a nine-month suspension.

Bancroft will be available for selection again from Sunday, while Australia coach Justin Langer has hinted Smith and Warner could return for Australia's one-day international series with Pakistan later in 2019.

And Finch insists there will be no problem accepting them within the Australia squad once they are eligible.

"When Davey and Steve are allowed to come back and play cricket for Australia and their states, from my point of view they'll be welcomed back with open arms," he told a media conference.

"Whatever's happened, has happened.

"The punishment has been dealt. They've been working really hard off the field to meet every criteria, and go above and beyond everything that has been asked of them, to come back and play international cricket again."

Finch was speaking after the close of play on day two of the third Test against India, with Australia six overs into their first innings after India declared on 443-7.

The hosts face a daunting task on a pitch that is expected to give more assistance to the bowlers over the coming days, but Finch is confident Australia could still come away with a win.

"This wicket is deteriorating a lot more than what we thought it would," he added.

"We saw tonight the ball was skidding through and there was a couple that took off.

"So it's still game on if we bat really well, and then back up and bowl again and put India under a lot of pressure.

"I think all three results are still on the table – India, Australia [victories] and a draw.

"It's so hard to say after two days when the wicket is deteriorating, but we're very confident that we can bat really big in this first innings and put India under pressure again."

Australia's Aaron Finch says an injured finger will not keep him out of the Boxing Day Test and joked he would cut off the offending digit to make himself available to face India in Melbourne.

Finch took a Mohammed Shami delivery on his glove in the second Test of the four-match series, aggravating an old fracture and leaving him with a nasty cut.

Fortunately for Finch, scans revealed that he had avoided a fresh break and he returned to training on Sunday for the first time since the injury.

Discussing the issue, Finch said: "It was a bit of a shock, just the initial pain was the thing that got me. It felt like it was going to explode, which was quite funny.

"I think just being hit a few times in the last month, a couple times by [Mitchell] 'Starcy' at training then Shami out in the game, but it's also an old break.

"I broke the same finger in Sri Lanka a couple of years ago, so I've got to start either catching them or use my bat instead of my gloves.

"It was up there [as the most painful]. I think snapping my hamstring tendon [in April 2015] was probably the most over the last few years."

And the 32-year-old is confident of being involved as Australia look to nudge ahead with the series tied at 1-1 after two Tests.

"Even batting in the warm-up before the second innings in Perth I still felt pretty good," he added. "Catching might be a bit of a different issue, at training I always tape my finger up anyway, but this'll just be a bit of extra padding.

"With a Boxing Day Test and being from Victoria...it's going to have to be cut off, I think!

"I'm going to catch in slips at training and do my normal preparation. If anything changes in the next couple days, I am sure we'll have to sit down and chat about that but, at this stage, it's still business as usual and I plan to field at slip and whatever else is needed.

"It feels like it's improved 100 per cent over the last couple of days."

Aaron Finch expects to be available for Australia's third Test against India despite suffering a gruesome finger injury in the second contest.

Scans showed that Finch suffered no fracture when taking a quick delivery from Mohammed Shami on his right index finger, which forced him to retire hurt.

Reports suggested that the wound was so bad that the bone had protruded his skin, but Finch looks set to play the crucial third Test in Melbourne in a series locked at 1-1.

"It's a finger that I've broken before in Sri Lanka a few years ago," Finch said.

"To have it hit three times pretty solid in a month, it just keeps blowing up.

"But it'll be no problem for the game."

Team-mate Peter Handscomb has found his place in the side come under fire after failing to score higher than 34 in four innings during the series.

Australia great Shane Warne has been among those to criticise Handscomb, but he came out in defence of his technique.

"Yeah, pretty much [sick of it]," Handscomb said. 

"It's my technique, I've had it for five years."

Australia opener Aaron Finch was cleared of serious damage after taking another blow to the finger on day three of the second Test against India at Perth Stadium.

Virat Kohli's controversial dismissal proved key as Australia took a big step towards levelling the four-match series with India on day three of the second Test.

Kohli added to his overnight 82 to score his 25th Test hundred, but was given out on 123 as Peter Handscomb looked to collect a catch at second slip off Pat Cummins. The soft signal was out and replays were inconclusive as to whether Cummins actually got his fingers under the ball.

A clearly unhappy Kohli trudged off and India soon collapsed, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma quickly departing the crease as India lost three wickets for three runs, slumping from 251-5 to 283 all out in response to Australia's first-innings 326 in Perth.

Aaron Finch was forced to retire hurt on 25 in Australia's second innings after being struck on the right glove, though scans have ruled out serious damage. Despite that blow, Usman Khawaja's unbeaten 41 helped them to 132-4, a lead of 175, at stumps.

Kohli brought up his hundred with an imperious straight drive and, though Hanuma Vihari departed, the India skipper appeared in a position to move the tourists into a lead.

However, his hopes of doing so were ended in contentious circumstances and, while Rishabh Pant (36) provided some resistance, Nathan Lyon had little difficulty knocking off the tail as he took 5-67, moving him into the top 25 all-time Test wicket takers.

There were fears Finch may have broken a finger, his injury leading the umpires to call tea, with India unable to claim a conventional dismissal until Jasprit Bumrah removed Marcus Harris for 20.

Shami impressed for the India attack with 2-23, claiming the wickets of Shaun Marsh (5) and Travis Head (19), which were sandwiched by Handscomb's (13) exit at the hands of Ishant as Australia's middle order wilted.

Yet Khawaja, who scored just 36 in two innings in the first Test defeat, provided a steady presence on an erratic pitch to guide Australia to the close. It will be up to him and captain Tim Paine (8 not out) to set India an imposing target to chase when the hosts resume on day four.

Australia have named an unchanged team for the inaugural Test at Perth Stadium against India.

Aaron Finch has retained his place at the top of the order after failing twice in a defeat in the opening Test at Adelaide Oval.

Mitchell Starc unsurprisingly keeps his spot in the side despite concerns being expressed about the left-arm paceman's lack of rhythm.

Captain Tim Paine damaged his troublesome right index finger in the first Test, but declared himself fit as Australia attempt to level the four-match series.

Paine said Starc's place in the team was never really in doubt and backed the quick to show what he is capable of in conditions which should bring out the best in him.

"I don't think there was any [consideration],” Paine said on Thursday.

"Starcy has been good for us. The criticism he's come under this week has been pretty unfair.

"His best and his worst are getting closer together and I think we're getting closer to his best again.

"When he cops criticism he takes it pretty personally and sometimes that brings the best out of him."

India will have to do without Rohit Sharma (back) and Ravichandran Ashwin (side).

 

Australia: Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (captain), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

Virat Kohli admits India will "just move on" to the next game following a narrow defeat to Australia in the opening match of the Twenty20 series on Wednesday.

The tourists were beaten by four runs after their target was adjusted by the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, with rain interrupting Australia's innings and restricting play to 17 overs.

The pendulum swung back and forth throughout as Glenn Maxwell (46) and Marcus Stoinis (33 not out) starred with the bat for the hosts, before Shikhar Dhawan (76) and Dinesh Karthik (30) brought India into contention.

And while Kohli was disappointed to come up short in a dramatic finish, he was quick to look ahead to the next meeting between the sides, which is in Melbourne on Friday.

"A lot of Indians came to support us. It was a great atmosphere to play in," he said.

"It was sort of a seesaw battle. We bowled well and then they came back into the game with Stoinis and Maxy [Maxwell] batting well. Then there was a really good knock from [Shikhar]. Dinesh Karthik at the end played really well as well.

"We don't have much time to think of things. [That's a] good thing as well as a bad thing when you haven't won the game. You just move on to the next game."

Stoinis followed up his efforts with the bat by decisively restricting India to eight from the final over, while also taking two wickets, and Australia captain Aaron Finch insisted he never doubted his team-mate at the death.

"I was very confident," Finch said. "He was the one I penciled in to do that job at the end. He had clear plans and executed his plans really well."

Aaron Finch fears Australia still have a lot of work to do on their "one-dimensional" batting line-up ahead of next year's Cricket World Cup.

Australia ended a seven-match losing run in ODIs against South Africa last week, but they were then beaten in the decider to hand the Proteas a 2-1 series win.

With little time left before the World Cup begins in May, Finch believes he and head coach Justin Langer must make vast changes to the side.

The Australia captain claims their attacking team is not suited to their current tactics and so either the personnel or the set-up must be altered in the coming months.

"If you look at our line-up on paper at the moment, you'd say it's an attacking side," Finch said. "A fairly one-dimensional side in terms of attack, versus workers of the ball and your traditional batsmen.

"Not to disrespect any of the players by any stretch, but it's probably that way and we haven't got it right for a while.

"And that does expose you in the middle order at times when you come upon some different wickets or a really good attack who get on top of you early.

"We've got a bit over two months until the next one-day games against India, so that'll be a really good opportunity to sit down and reassess and start mapping out that process of how I and JL and the leaders think we can be the most successful in this format.

"The side we've got at the moment is that way inclined, [but] it's not necessarily the way we've been trying to play.

"So it's going to be a combination of both: we have to either adapt our game plan a little bit around the way the side is structured best, or we slightly change our personnel to fit a style we think can win.

"That's something that will come out over the next couple of months when we sit down and dig into it and find a way to get back on top of the world."

Australia captain Aaron Finch believes recent troubles at the sport's national governing body could be impacting the team's performance.

A six-wicket loss to South Africa in Perth on Sunday marked Australia's seventh consecutive defeat in one-day internationals.

It comes with Cricket Australia (CA) under fire in the wake of the release of a cultural review, with chairman David Peever and director Mark Taylor leaving the organisation and high performance manager Pat Howard set to make an earlier-than-expected departure next week.

Finch, who has scored three ODI centuries in 2018, said the off-field issues may be hurting Australia's displays.

"When there are changes and there are things being said and written about, I think it's hard not to read it sometimes when it is everywhere," he told a news conference on Thursday.

"When we talk about confidence in the batting group, it's about not letting outside distractions affect your game and there's been a lot of media about Cricket Australia recently, a lot of media about our batting.

"But I think if you can put that to one side and focus on the next ball and really make sure that you're committed to watching the ball and being 100 per cent committed to your partnership, I think that'll go a long way to turning things around quickly."

Australia trail their three-match series against South Africa 1-0 heading into the second ODI in Adelaide on Friday.

The hosts were bowled out for just 152 in the opening game and Finch said his team needed to make minor adjustments to improve their batting.

"Not lose as many wickets – that's one way we can fix it, no doubt. It has been a concern in both shorter formats," he said.

"To get bowled out a couple of times in the UAE and then bowled out again the other day, I think it's been a bit of a theme unfortunately that we haven't batted our allotted overs a lot.

"I think it's just about summing up the conditions and probably using a bit more cricket smarts at times.

"There might be times when you have to go away from your natural game and play a little bit more of a defensive-type brand in terms of just getting through for time. I think they're the only small changes and it has been a theme for a while but it's not the end of the world, it's going to change."

Australia were miles away from where they should be in Sunday's six-wicket defeat at the hands of South Africa in Perth, says captain Aaron Finch.

Aaron Finch has been passed fit to captain Australia in the first ODI against South Africa after being struck on the finger by a sharp delivery from Mitchell Starc.

Aaron Finch has been named Australia's one-day captain as Tim Paine was dropped for the three-match series against South Africa. 

Australia warmed up for their upcoming Twenty20 series against Pakistan with a comfortable seven-wicket win over the United Arab Emirates. 

Mohammad Abbas took three quick wickets in a devastating burst to put Pakistan on course to win the first Test in Dubai, but Usman Khawaja's unbeaten half-century gave Australia hope on day four. 

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