Australia's new head coach Mickey Arthur faces a major injury crisis for next week's first cricket Test against New Zealand, with five players including three pace bowlers out of action.

For his opening match in charge, the 43-year-old South African, the first non-Australian to be handed the job, will be missing all-rounder Shane Watson and batsman Shaun Marsh for the December 1 showdown at the Gabba in Brisbane.

Also out with injury are pacemen Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and youngster Pat Cummins. The team will be announced on Saturday.

Harris, who returned home early from the tour to South Africa, remains sidelined. — AFP

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