Although Fabio Capello has expressed confidence that Terry will recover from an ankle injury suffered in training yesterday, the Chelsea captain still has to be regarded as a major doubt. And, if he does miss out, Rooney will step in.
It would be the first time the 24-year-old has done the job for England, having had only limited experience of the role with Manchester United. However, Capello is in no doubt England's best player is the right man for the job.
"If John Terry doesn't play, it will be Wayne Rooney," said Capello. "He is fit and he is ready to be a captain."
Terry twisted his ankle yesterday during a lunchtime training session in searing temperatures in Qatar ahead of tomorrow's friendly with the five-time world champions.
There was no one around the central defender at the time and Capello does not feel the problem is too serious. I am confident about him," said Capello. "I have spoken with the doctors and, tomorrow, I think it is going to be possible for him to play. But I won't take any risks. If he is not fit, he will not play."