Alastair Cook still has a pivotal role to play for England despite being replaced by Joe Root as England captain, insists coach Trevor Bayliss.
The first Test against South Africa, which begins at Lord's on July 6, will see Root assume the captaincy in playing action for the first time.
Cook, meanwhile, will resume his duties as an opening batsman on the back of some excellent form for county side Essex, for whom he scored 193 in this week's match against Middlesex.
And Bayliss feels sure Root will lean on the experience of Cook where needed.
"It's great that after giving away the captaincy he's [Cook] still got that hunger for runs and it was great to see him making another hundred," said Bayliss at an Investec event ahead of the four-match series with the Proteas.
"I'm sure he's looking forward to this Test series. I'm sure that as an ex-England captain it will be bit of a juggling act for him in terms of how much he gets involved.
"I know that he and Rooty get on really well. Cook is very well respected in the team and I'm sure if he feels something needs to be said, he will."
Bayliss offered assurances that he will take a hands-off approach while Root finds his feet as a skipper, but he hopes to see the Yorkshireman translate his exciting way of playing into a positive style of leadership.
"I've been lucky enough to work with him for the last two years," the Australian said of Root. "It's a little bit of an unknown when you get a new captain. But certainly the way Rooty goes about his cricket, he's nice and positive in the way he bats and I suspect that the way he will captain the team will be similar.
"We've had a few short chats over this last month or so, but over the coming days we'll have a closer chat. We've had a few meetings just discussing the way Rooty wants to attack the game. I suppose we'll go a little bit deeper on the South African side over the next couple of days.
"My way of operating is I think the captain is the one in charge. It's probably a little bit old-school, but that's what I believe. They're the ones playing the game, they're the ones who have got to have a say in how the game moves forward.
"Certainly what I've said to all of the captains that have captained England since I've been here is I'll give them 100 per cent backing if they've got a good reason or a good argument for what they want to do, if it's selection, field placement, bowling changes.
"If they haven't got a good argument for something, that's where I might come up with some options myself."