Melbourne:Australian selectors need to induct young blood in the ageing cricket team if Ricky Ponting and his men wants to wrist back the Ashes series in June next year, according to former pacer Geoff Lawson.
Lawson feels the upcoming South African series would be a good platform to introduce some new faces in the team and test their skills before they embark on the much important Ashes series against England.
"With South Africa coming up, now is the time to make changes," Lawson was quoted as saying in the 'Courier Mail' on Sunday.
"You can get some younger blokes in for a home-and-away series against them. They are a very tough side so they will be a good test to see how some new faces go," added Lawson. The former Pakistan coach feels Australia should examine the Test potential of youngsters like Chris Rogers and Peter Siddle when they play the three Tests against the Proteas, before hosting a return series in February.
"There's no point waiting until the end of the South African series and start making tough calls about the Ashes tour. The big question is do you want to wait until the Ashes or do you want to get stuck in now and get some new blood in against South Africa," he said.
With as many as eight ageing players in the current Australian Test squad, Lawson feels the selectors should waste no time and take hold of the situation.
"I think a couple of players in the (Test) side are past their peak. There's another couple getting towards it. Can we wait another 18 months to be bringing blokes in, when Matthew Hayden will be 39?" Lawson said.
"These are the questions the selectors need to ask themselves. I wonder will the selectors learn?" he added.