Blackcaps v Pakistan: NZ seamer Neil Wagner ruled out of second test with injury

Blackcaps bowler Neil Wagner has been ruled out of the second test against Pakistan in Christchurch.

Wagner was instrumental in the last-gasp win in the first test at Bay Oval, battling through two broken toes in a heroic performance that left the cricketing world shaking its collective head in disbelief.

But the 34-year-old was clearly fighting through pain, and on Thursday, Gary Stead confirmed what many had expected, that he'll play no part at Hagley Oval.

"Neil isn't travelling with us to this test match," Stead says. "We've made that call.

"The injections he was getting were wearing off each time, and we can't have him going through that again for this test."

Stead says he's yet to confirm a replacement, but it will be a "like for like" change, suggesting Matt Henry may come into the fold.

Wagner's timeframe for recovery sits around five-to-six week, he adds.

The coach was among those bewildered by Wagner's efforts in the first test.

"He was absolutely outstanding," he says. "I'm not sure there are too many individuals who could do what he did in that test match."

Wagner was one of five Blackcaps bowlers to finish with two wickets, as the hosts overcame a determined stand from Pakistan's Fawad and Rizwan to rip through the tourists' tail and clinch a nail-biting victory with less than five overs to spare.

"If you look through the playing 11 I thought there were some magnificent performances from everyone throughout the match," Stead notes. 

"I thought we did that superbly well and that's what tough, hard test cricket is about and it's pleasing to come out on the right side of that against a very, very good Pakistan team."

Spinner Mitchell Santner will be available for selection, Stead dismissing any concern about a finger injury that was causing the allrounder some obvious discomfort during day five.

"He's just a bit sore and swollen," Stead says. "I think TV probably made a little bit more of that than what it was... it didn't affect him being able to bowl at all."

The second and final test of the series starts January 3, where they'll need to win again to keep their hopes of securing a spot in the ICC World Test Championship Final alive.

Victory would also cement their position at the top of the ICC's test rankings, where they're currently the provisional No.1.

"It was a little bit spoken about last night and a few of the players said a few words about what it meant to them, and it's a very, very special thing," Stead admits.

"It shows longevity, it shows skill over a period of time, and it shows consistency of performance."

Join us for live updates of the second test between New Zealand and Pakistan from January 3