PERTH - New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the remaining two tests against Australia, but the embattled tourists are confident spearhead Trent Boult will be fit to provide a spark in the pivotal Boxing Day test.
The hapless Black Caps struggled against an in-form Australia in the first test at Perth Stadium and were blown away by 296 runs inside four days.
New Zealand have won only one test in Australia since their sole series triumph across the Tasman Sea in 1985-86 and their prospects of winning a second nose-dived when debutant Ferguson suffered a calf strain on day one and he was unable to bowl.
The 28-year-old bowled just 11 overs at a cost of 47 runs on day one and his horror debut included being denied a maiden test wicket when Tom Latham dropped Australia talisman Steve Smith at slip.
The fast bowler, who will need five to six weeks to recover, is returning to New Zealand and a replacement for him will be named on Tuesday, coach Gary Stead told reporters on Monday.