Australia captain Tim Paine said the hosts have got no thoughts about losing a Test series at home for the first time when they meet India in the fourth and final Test which gets underway at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday.

“It doesn’t for me personally,” he said on whether preventing an India series win was his key motivation.

“Other guys may use it but my focus has been on us improving and on us playing the best possible cricket that we can and when we haven’t, making sure we learn from it.”

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For the first time in his series, Australia have withheld their playing XI as the think-thank want to study the SCG pitch a little more. However, it looks certain that the underperforming Aaron Finch will either be pushed down or axed, with number three Usman Khawaja moving up to open alongside Marcus Harris.

“If that’s the way we go, Usman will go out and give his all as he always does. I think the way he’s handled the last month or so has been exemplary, it’s a real credit to him,” said Paine.

“It’s just team balance really,” he said. “There’s ongoing discussion the last day or two but we’ll have a final look at the wicket and we’ll have our last chat then.

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“We’re not too far away. As I said all along, we’ll be looking to pick the best XI that we think is the best combination to win this Test and the wicket will play a part in that.”