Debuting for New Zealand in Tests, Ferguson bowled 11 overs on the first day, seven of which came in the second session, following which he left the ground. He was sent for MRI scans soon after, the results of which concluded that he had suffered a right calf tendon strain. An update from New Zealand Cricket stated that he will bat, if necessary.
Ferguson, 28, was handed his Test cap after Trent Boult was ruled out of contention, having failed to recover in time from the side strain he sustained last month.
Ferguson’s injury leaves New Zealand with two frontline quicks in Tim Southee and Neil Wagner, along with the medium-pace of Colin de Grandhomme.
INJURY UPDATE: An MRI scan has confirmed a right calf muscle-tendon strain for Lockie Ferguson which will prevent him bowling in the remainder of the 1st Test, although he is available to bat. Awaiting a further report which will inform the next steps of his recovery #AUSvNZ
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 13, 2019
Ferguson was unlucky to be denied his maiden Test wicket on Thursday, 12 December, when Tom Latham spilled an edge off Steve Smith’s bat at slip, when Smith on was on 20. He bowled only one more over after that.
“Gutting, ain’t it,” his teammate Neil Wagner later said. “It’s pretty heartbreaking for him. I know he’ll be devastated as well. We’ll obviously get right behind him and, hopefully, it’s not too bad. He’s a quality player, and we would have loved to see him bowl more and see what he could have done.”
Marnus Labuschagne, who finished the first day unbeaten on 110, acknowledged that Ferguson’s absence could turn out to be beneficial for Australia, who ended day one on 248-4.
“They do have an all-rounder in their side, so that does lighten the load a little, but it is a massive advantage [for Australia],” he said. “If we can really bat well [on day two] and keep them out there … with our world-class bowling attack it will give [us] the upper hand.”