A pair of captains were appointed at Villa Park on Wednesday in something of an odd arrangement.
In other words, the co-captaincy is the result of Sherwood acknowledging Agbonlahor won't be playing much this season.
"On-the-field captain will be Micah Richards," Sherwood said. "He gives us a fresh start, that's for sure. He's someone that's come in and we think Micah is the correct choice to lead the team. He's vocal and leads by example. I've been very pleased with him in preseason. He's got fitter in every game and he looks the part.
"Micah's got an opinion which is good and he's not afraid to share it which is also good. He can bring a winning mentality here. It will take time and everyone else will need to pick it up."
Regarding Agbonlahor's role, Sherwood said: "Gabby will be club captain. He knows this club inside out. He will help the young foreign boys who have come over to a different country and to a new club to settle in."
Ricards joined Villa on a four-year contract this summer after his contract with Manchester City expired, while Agbonlahor, a product of Villa's youth system, has spent all 10 years of his professional career at the club.