Australia and New Zealand started the Trans-Tasman rivalry with the first Test starting at the Gabba in Perth. The day-night match is being played with a pink ball and will be counted under the ICC World Test Championship. Australia lies on the second spot in the points table with 176 points from seven games, while New Zealand is third on the spot with 60 points from 2 games.
Meanwhile, Australia went into this match with an unchanged side for this Test, given that this side had defeated Pakistan 2-0 in the recently concluded series at home. On the other hand, the Kane Williamson led New Zealand team felt to add some more firepower to their bowling lineup and gave a Test debut to fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, who had been waiting to get a chance since the home series against England.
Lockie Ferguson strains his calf muscle against Australia
Ferguson had an uneventful debut bowling 11 overs for 47 runs, despite Joe Burns falling for 9 runs and David Warner removed by a brilliant caught and bowled by Neil Wagner for 43 runs. Unfortunately for the Kiwi side, the second session brought some terrible news as Ferguson seemed to have suffered a strain in his right calf. He was immediately taken off the field and sent for MRI scans.
He wouldn’t bowl again on the first day and would be reassessed on Friday morning. Ferguson had come into the side due to an injury to Trent Boult, who failed to recover from a side strain, which he suffered since England Test series. Meanwhile, the debutant fast bowler could have had his first wicket in Tests had Tom Latham not dropped Steve Smith in a second slip just before tea.
If Ferguson’s injury is serious enough, New Zealand is looking at playing the remainder of the match with the onus of bowling falling on Tim Southee and Neil Wagner, with the medium pace of Colin de Grandhomme and spin of Mitchell Santner. They do have a backup in Matt Henry which can be employed in the second Test which will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne after a nine-day gap.
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