Michael Vaughan's captaincy has been highlighted by coach Peter Moores as a key component in guiding England back towards the summit of Test cricket.
England, under Vaughan's leadership, won the Ashes in 2005 but were then thrashed 5-0 in Australia in 2006/07, a series the Yorkshire batsman missed because of a knee injury.
The Ashes are up for grabs again next year with England keen for some morale-boosting Test results between then and now.
In March, they came from behind to win 2-1 away in New Zealand. But that series saw Vaughan average just 20, leading to questions about whether his captaincy skills compensated for a lack of runs.
But he returned to form during the drawn first Test against New Zealand at Lord's with 106, equalling former England captain Graham Gooch's record of six Test hundreds at the 'home of cricket'.
That innings will end any debate about the captaincy for a while, Vaughan's fitness permitting, and Moores said: "To have a mature captain is really important, especially when you're developing as a team.
"We've got an inexperienced set of bowlers and that is a key factor that you've got someone like Michael Vaughan to marshal around and give his experience to that unit.
"I think he's naturally calm and that is one of his strengths. It's a skill to be able to always give off that calmness and I think that's a sign of a good leader.
"When the pressure's on, anybody who can make sure they pass none of that onto their team is a good leader and that's been one of Michael's strengths."
Vaughan started the county season with just 135 runs in seven innings for Yorkshire but Moores wasn't surprised by the way he batted at Lord's.
"He knows he's a good player and he's always got trust in his ability and it's always nice for him to come to Lord's where he's got hundreds before at the start of the series," Moores added.
"I think he was under pressure mostly from himself. As a player you want to play well for your country.
"He's worked very hard and he came out here and wanted to show everybody what sort of Test match player he is. We've developed as a team and he wants to be at the front of that team and I think he did that at Lord's."