Australia aims to wrap up series

WELLINGTON, MARCH 17. Australia has the chance to compound the misery of its New Zealand host by taking an unassailable series lead in the second Test starting here on Friday. A win would give the Australians a 2-0 lead in the three-match series, following a 5-0 thrashing in the one-day internationals.

New Zealand has to regroup after the first Test in Christchurch, where it suffered a nine-wicket drubbing after collapsing for 131 in the second innings.

Australia and New Zealand named unchanged squads for the second Test. The Australians stuck with the same 11 that won the first Test, while New Zealand retained the same squad, although a decision on the 12th man is yet to be made.

Batsman Nathan Astle, one of the better performed Kiwis with 74 and 21 in Christchurch, says the side has to forget its opponents, widely regarded one of the best Test sides in history. ``It doesn't matter who the opponent is, it's only really you versus the red ball and that's it. That for me is the biggest thing that we can all change,'' Astle said.

The teams:

New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (capt.), Craig Cumming, Hamish Marshall, Lou Vincent, Nathan Astle, Craig McMillan, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, James Franklin, Iain O'Brien, Chris Martin, Paul Wiseman (12th man to be named).

Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt.), Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Damien Martyn, Michael Clarke, Simon Katich, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Jason Gillespie, Michael Kasprowicz, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee (12th man). — Agencies

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