Cape Town - Dean Elgar will lead the Proteas at Lord's on Thursday knowing that he has the full backing of his team-mates.
Elgar is standing in for regular captain Faf du Plessis, who is missing the first Test because he is staying in South Africa to be with his wife, Imari, after the birth of their baby daughter last week.
It is a massive moment for Elgar as he becomes just the 12th man to captain the Proteas (post-1992) in Test cricket, but the decision to give him the captaincy has been backed by the players.
"It's an opportunity for someone else to step up and lead the country," Proteas seamer Vernon Philander said.
"We've got all the faith in Dean. If he has the support of the other 10 guys on the field it will make his job a lot easier.
"It's obviously a big loss losing Faf, but obviously we all understand his circumstances."
Du Plessis's place in the middle order is likely to be taken by Theunis de Bruyn, who will play in just his second Test, while Heino Kuhn is set for a Test debut at the top of the order.
"We've got a squad of 15 guys over here. We've lost players in the past and guys have stepped up," Philander added.
"It's an opportunity for someone to step up and really make a name for himself. That's the way we all see it as a squad."
Play on Thursday starts at 12:00 (SA time).