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"I think it's important to be yourself in terms of leadership", Root said. Besides his superb skill, Philander brings a forthrightness to the squad offering clarity following a few weeks in which there's been little of it for the South African team.

South Africa Test captain, Faf du Plessis, will miss the first Test match against England starting at Lord's on Thursday due to family reasons.

The first Test will get underway on Thursday.

Left-handed batsman Dean Elgar will lead the side in du Plessis' absence, thus making him the 12th player since readmission to lead the Proteas.

Theunis de Bruyn or the uncapped Aiden Markram will replace du Plessis' in the side. He confirmed their support for Elgar.

"Thinking back to 2012 we had a culture camp before coming here", Philander said at Lord's on Tuesday. If you have the support of the other ten guys on the field, his job will be easier. It's a big plus for us that we can have another prospective captain in the group.

And among their younger crop, South Africa are excited by the potential they possess.

South Africa does have its top batsman, Hashim Amla, and top seam bowler, Vernon Philander, for the opening Test, but will need to show fighting qualities in a hard situation.

He's (Rabada) a phenomenal talent. "Every time he gets the ball in hand he seems to want to run in and bowl faster and get wickets", Philander said. "He's got that never-say-die attitude about him, which is always exciting to have".

Success in the Tests for England would add to ODI and Twenty20 series victories over the touring South Africans. He is not shy of bowling the overs and giving it to the batters as well.