By STEVE SPINKS and AAP
LISMORE'S Stan Gilchrist believes the first session of tonight's first cricket Test between Australia and England at Lords will go a long way to determining the Ashes series.
There has been plenty of hype surrounding England's supposed resurgence but the father of Australian vice-captain, Adam Gilchrist, is reserving his take on the poms until after the first session.
"I really believe it depends on what happens in the first two hours," he told The Northern Star from London.
"If the Aussies crunch them in the first two hours I reckon the series will be all over.
"Our group was surprised that England picked Kevin Pietersen instead of Thorpe, but that's for them to decide."
English veteran Graham Thorpe, who will take up a contract with NSW later this year, has been left out for the South African born Pietersen who hasn't played a Test.
Stan and his wife June, are leading a tour group of 60 people throughout the Ashes series and have spent the last couple of weeks in France.
France may be very close to England, but finding cricket scores has been extremely difficult.
"They don't play cricket in France," Mr Gilchrist chuckled.
"And what's worse, they don't report on it."
The tour group has been so busy that the Gilchrists haven't even been able to congratulate Adam on the unbeaten century he made in a recent One Day International against England.
Meanwhile, Australian captain Ricky Ponting's proposal for batsmen to accept the word of fielders on contentious catches during the Ashes series has been rejected by England counterpart Michael Vaughan.
Vaughan has made it clear he wants decisions left to umpires.
Disappointed, Ponting planned to raise the matter again during the pre-series meeting with match referee Ranjan Madugalle on the eve of the first Test.
But Vaughan, who famously stood his ground in Adelaide in 2002-03 despite Australia's belief Justin Langer had caught him at point, indicated he would not change his stance.
"Umpires are there. They have done a really good job over the past couple of years of making the decision out in the middle," Vaughan said.
"I don't know where we've had any instances where the actual TV replay people have come into play, as the umpire asks the player if he caught it and if he says yes, then yes, that's out."
Vaughan raised the Australians' ire during the second Test of the last Ashes series, when he did not accept Langer's word the catch had carried. Vaughan, on 19 at the time, was given not out and went on to make 177.