Australia's senior seamer Peter Siddle has been ruled out of the second test against New Zealand, with a back problem.

The decision is no surprise. The 30-year-old, an anchorman in Australia's test attack in recent years, bowled just eight overs in New Zealand's second innings of the innings and 52-run loss at the Basin Reserve this week and was visibly battling as he moved gingerly in the field.

He has broken down in three of the last four matches he's played and it seems the end may be approaching for the industrious right armer.

"Peter experienced some discomfort in his back during the first test in Wellington and has not recovered sufficiently enough to play the test," said Australian physio David Beakley.


"At this stage the plan is for him to stay with the squad in Christchurch for the remainder of the tour before returning to Melbourne for further investigation."

In 61 tests, Siddle has taken 208 wickets at 29.88 and he played a key part in bundling New Zealand out for just 183 in Wellington in their first innings, taking three cheap wickets, to set Australia on the path to victory.

The likely replacement for the test starting in Christchurch on Saturday is the faster James Pattinson, who was ruled out of the Wellington test by fitness concerns.

Australia will reclaim the No 1 test ranking if they avoid defeat in the second test.