Former great Mark Waugh has warned the Australian's that fielding will be vitally important in deciding the outcome of the upcoming Ashes series. 

Waugh has spoken of how crucial it will be for the tourists to take their chances as they look to take the wickets that could lead to Ashes glory.

Waugh told FoxSports: "We've got to take our catches. We've lost Mike Hussey and Ricky Ponting out of the slips and gully region in the last year so that's going to be a big hole to fill.

"When you're playing a good team and the bowlers are creating the chances, especially in the slips, you've got to take the regulation catches but you've got to take the half chances as well."

Waugh is well placed to comment on the fielding standards in the Australian team as he was renonwned as one of the finest exponents of slip fielding the game has ever seen.

He has expressed some reservations about the standard of fielding in this current Australian side.

"There's some steady fieldsmen, but I think at the moment, David Warner is a very good outfielder, obviously Michael Clarke is a very good catcher and Shane Watson's not too bad."

"But you take those guys out. Who do you say is reallly an outstanding fieldsman? There's not too many around at the moment."

Waugh does see fielding as an opportunity where the Australian team can hurt the English , provided they execute well.

"Fielding definitely lifts your team and it's a good sign of the character of a team how well you field."

It is an area new coach Darren Lehmann has also identified as an area Australia can improve on in the Ashes series.

Lehmann said: "One of the things we can control is how we field. We've got to field well. We know we've got to take every opportunity," he said.

"There's not too many games you lose if you take every opportunity that comes your way."

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