Andrew Strauss has been appointed England captain for the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's next week, the England and Wales Cricket Board said.
Andrew Flintoff, who skippered England in their two most recent Test series against Sri Lanka and India, will resume the Test captaincy once he has recovered from an ankle injury.
South Africa-born Strauss, a former Middlesex captain, led the side during the recent one-day series against Sri Lanka, losing all five games.
Chairman of selectors David Graveney said selectors hoped to have a clearer picture of the state of Flintoff's ankle injury this week.
"Andrew Flintoff will have his ankle re-assessed in the next few days and we will have a clearer idea then of when he will be able to return to the team and take over the captaincy," he said.
"We are fortunate to have a very capable deputy available in Andrew Strauss and he will continue to lead the Test side in Andrew Flintoffs absence."
Strauss said he was excited about leading England against Pakistan although it would be on a temporary basis.
"It will be a great honour to captain England in a Test Match for the first time and to lead the team out at Lord's will be a special moment for me," he said.