12 Nov 2015

Black Caps hold off on Southee

5:17 pm on 12 November 2015

A decision on whether Black Caps pace bowler Tim Southee will play in the second test against Austraila in Perth will be made later today.

Southee took a limited part in the first test loss in Brisbane after suffering a back injury on the opening day.

Allrounder Jimmy Neesham also suffered back problems and won't take any further part in the series and will also be replaced with pace bowler Neil Wagner and allrounder the Mitch Santner the leading candidates.

Skipper Brendon McCullum said depending on how Southee comes through training will decide the make up of the side.

"He came through yesterday but I just want to see how he scrubs up today and get a few more overs into him and also sort out the balance of the side once we have seen the pitch," he said.

Black Caps bowler Tim Southee in action at the Gabba.

Black Caps bowler Tim Southee. Photo: Photosport

McCullum has also reiterated his confidence in left arm spinner Mark Craig despite a disappointing return in the first test when he finished with match figures of 3-225.

McCullum has confirmed Craig will play in the second test and believes conditions in Perth will suit him.

"We were all a little harsh to jump on Mark after the first innings bowling at the Gabba when it's not really his job to be bowling the amount of overs he did....he'll appreciate the bounce he will get here as well and with two of their left armers and one of ours, there should be a bit of rough for him (to bowl into) as long as I can win the toss and bat first."

Meanwhile Australia will field an unchanged lineup for the match with seamer Peter Siddle again left out of the side.

Siddle was dropped from the pace attack in favour of Josh Hazlewood for the opening match.

"The conditions are going to be pretty similar to the Gabba," said captain Steve Smith.

"It looks a very good wicket out there, so we've gone in with the same team."

Although Smith was critical of the new-ball attack at the Gabba, the selectors have retained Hazlewood along with left-armers Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc to bowl on what is traditionally a quick, bouncy wicket at the WACA.

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