MELBOURNE - Australia opener reveals extent of the pain he felt after copping a short ball to the right index finger, but insists it has almost fully recovered and good to go for the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Finch, batting rather fluidly on a tough day four batting surface in Perth, was surprised by a Mohammed Shami short ball, which rose sharply and hit him flush on the right index finger. He had to retire hurt and on returning to bat, still in some pain, the next day was caught behind first ball. His discomfort was evident, and Finch admitted that he feared the worst at that point.

“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,” Finch said. “I think just being hit a few times in the last month, a couple times by ‘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.”

However, Finch says his finger has recovered well, and that it shouldn’t prevent him from featuring in his maiden Test at his home city, Melbourne starting December 26. He did, however, admit to uncertainty over whether he’d be able to field in the slips.

“Even batting in the warm-up before the second innings in Perth I still felt pretty good. 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,” Finch said.

“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.”

After suffering defeat in Adelaide, Australia bounced back to level the series at Perth, and will look to take the lead in the four-match series when they lock horns with the visitors at Melbourne. They will hope that Finch, who scored a fifty in the second Test, is available to make a big contribution again.