New Zealand are going to be a pacer short for the rest of the first Test as debutant Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the game following a right calf strain picked up during day one of the Day-Night Test in Perth. Ferguson walked off the field on Thursday and further scans have ruled him out of the game.
Ferguson picked up the injury during the second session of the day's play and was quickly sent for an MRI scan to find the extent of the injury.
"An MRI scan has confirmed a right calf muscle-tendon strain for Lockie Ferguson which will prevent him bowling in the remainder of the first Test in Perth, although he is available to bat. We are still awaiting a further report which will inform the next steps of his recovery," read a statement after the developments.
Lockie was called in as a replacement for Trent Boult, who was ruled out after failing to recover from a side strain, which he picked up during the England series last month. Ferguson didn't get a wicket as Steve Smith was dropped by Tom Latham at second slip right before tea.
"Gutting, ain't it. It's just one of those things. It's pretty heart-breaking for him. I know he'll be devastated as well. We all obviously get right behind him. Hopefully it's not too bad. We haven't heard anything back yet. Hopefully, you know it's good or better news than what everyone is suspecting. He's a quality player and we would have loved to see him bowl more and see what he could have done," said Wagner, who now has to put on another resolute show after his brave hearted performance on day one of the Test match.
Ferguson's absence leaves Wagner and Southee as the only frontline pacers along with medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme and spinner Mitchell Santner. And, it is a situation the Aussies are planning to take an advantage of.
"They do have an allrounder in their side so it does lighten the load a little, but it's a massive advantage if we can really bat well tomorrow and keep them out there. We just have to keep putting those runs on the board," said Marnus Labuschagne, who is still batting unbeaten on 110.
New Zealand, however, did well in the final session, taking two key wickets with Wagner bouncing out Smith and Southee removing Matthew Wade.
Matt Henry is the only other pacer in the NZ squad apart from Trent Boult.