The Black Caps' already difficult quest to claim victory over Australia has just become even tougher.

Fast bowler Lockie Ferguson won't bowl another delivery in the first test in Perth, after suffering a muscle-tendon strain in his right calf while bowling yesterday.

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Ferguson, making his test debut in place of the injured Trent Boult, got through 11 overs in the sapping heat before hurting his calf, and hobbling off before the end of the second session.


He didn't return to the field in the final session after going to get a MRI scan, and the results which came back were not good for the Black Caps' chances, with the speedster ruled out of bowling for the remainder of the test with the tendon strain.

Lockie Ferguson clutches his calf during his spell against Australia. Photo / SKY
Lockie Ferguson clutches his calf during his spell against Australia. Photo / SKY

Ferguson, who ends his test debut with figures of 11-1-47-0, is still available to bat at No 11, but his absence will leave the Black Caps with just four frontline bowlers, in temperatures set to hit 40 degrees.

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While Neil Wagner, Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme bowled well yesterday, spinner Mitchell Santner didn't get much assistance from the pitch, and the only other realistic bowling options to share the workload are also spinners, with Kane Williamson or Jeet Raval available to toss down some part-time spin which is unlikely to threaten the Australian batsmen.

It will make taking the remaining six wickets – Australia will resume today on 248-4 – even more difficult, not to mention trying to claim another 10 in the second innings if they are to have any hope of claiming victory.

A further report will determine whether Ferguson can play any further part in the upcoming two test matches, though with 13 days until the next test in Melbourne, the Black Caps should at least have the services of Boult, who is close to a return from his side strain.