McCullum: Southee will make fitness call

New Zealand

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has confirmed that seamer Tim Southee will decide if he is fit enough to take the field in the second Test against Australia in Perth, starting on Friday.

Southee suffered a back injury in the first Test in Brisbane and didn't bowl in the second innings at the Gabba, making him a doubtful starter for the WACA Test.

The Black Caps would not want Southee to start the match and breakdown, leaving them a bowler short in a game they have to win if they want to stand a chance of winning the three-match series.

When asked who will make the final call on Southee's fitness, McCulllum said: "He's an honest bloke. He'll tell us. Tim is a strong leader within the group. We trust him completely.

"He's a team player … the decision he makes will be the best for the team. If he is fit, I'm sure he'll be a force to be reckoned with in the game on a wicket that should provide him with a bit of bounce and swing."

One of Matt Henry, Mitchell McClenaghan or Neil Wagner will come into the side if Southee is ruled on what is expected to be a bouncy pitch in Perth.

Australia won the first Test at the Gabba by a massive 208 runs.