The Black Caps have reportedly suffered a big blow just hours out from the first cricket test against Australia, with fast bowler Trent Boult ruled out of action due to a side strain.

Australian media are reporting that the paceman has lost his battle to get match fit in time for this evening's encounter.

Boult missed the second test against England earlier this month due to the same injury and was replaced by Matt Henry for the drawn second test in Hamilton.

The Black Caps won their seventh series after beating the English comprehensively in the first test in Mount Maunganui.

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It wasn't immediately clear who would replace Boult in the starting XI for the test against the Aussies but it is understood that Lockie Ferguson could be in line to make his debut.

--More to come