Michael Vaughan believes Andrew Flintoff can be a success as England’s Ashes captain - providing the Lancashire all-rounder is "normal and natural".
The five-Test series starts just after midnight GMT on Thursday in Brisbane, with Flintoff leading England in the absence of the injured Vaughan.
And Vaughan said the captain should not try to emulate his predecessor, explaining: "I spoke to ‘Freddie’ before he came out - he has to be himself.
"There was no point me trying to be Nasser Hussain - and Nasser would say there was no point trying to be Michael Atherton or Alec Stewart.
"When the pressure situation is on you have to be normal and natural. So far Freddie has led very well on this trip.
"It will be hotter when it starts on Thursday, when he’ll need a clear head and a gameplan in his own head both as a player and as a captain. But he can’t plan too far ahead because things change so fast.
"He’s going to have to be very clever, with the help of his players - but anything can happen when Matthew Hayden or Adam Gilchrist get going.
"If you miss the odd trick it can really cost you - but he’s done really well so far."
Yorkshire batsman Vaughan does not believe Australia are a foregone conclusion to make home advantage count and regain the Ashes.
He continued: "We have had an indifferent year - but we’ve shown a lot of character against India and Sri Lanka - and we bounced back against Pakistan after being 2-0 down to draw 2-2.
"We’ve kind of been up and down but we look a decent side on paper - even though we’ve lost Marcus Trescothick. A lot will be how we cope with pressure of an Ashes series - if the players can go out and express themselves I’m sure we’ll give them a run for their money.
"You need all your players to be playing well, individuals don’t win an Ashes series. I had a good series last time out here but we lost 4-1.
"You have to win the crucial hours, take your opportunities, get a good total, make use of the time when the ball swings around, take catches - and have that vital bit of luck.
"I believe the players must do all the right things and work hard - they have really focused on doing their jobs and hopefully that will be a sign of good things to come."
As for which spinner will get the nod - Ashley Giles or Monty Panesar - Vaughan observed: "It will be a tough decision - as was Geraint Jones and Chris Read.
"We’ve got to make sure we do our homework on the Brisbane wicket and what is going to be best suited for the team in this instance."
Vaughan, who is recovering from knee surgery which has kept him out for a year, is not giving up hope of playing a part in the series - but would quite happily accept missing out if he regains full fitness when England’s other batsmen are all on form.
He explained: "I’ve come out here to continue my rehabilitation. I’ve got an outdoor net tomorrow and that is a big stage, hopefully it will go well with the running and twisting drills.
"I’d love to say I’d be available for selection in two or three weeks but let’s see what happens - and I’ve never once said I’d play in the Third Test.
"It’s a good sign I’m out here but I’ve got to be respectful of the other guys in team who could be scoring thousands of runs.
"I hope that’s the case and we are 2-0 or 3-0 up - if that’s the case I won’t be getting back in the team for some time."