If two losses in two matches are not bad enough, South Africa are now faced with another major problem. One of their key pacemen, Lungi Ngidi, has been declared unavailable for the team's third match of the World Cup, against Indian on June 5.
Ngidi suffered a hamstring problem during his team's game match against Bangladesh at The Oval. This forced him to leave the field after having bowled just four overs in the game. South Africa were already plagued by injuries with Dale Steyn unable to play the first two matches and still not certain to take part in the fixture against India. On top of that, Hashim Amla suffered a blow to the head during the opening game of the tournament against England which caused him to retire hurt immediately and then sit out of the match against Bangladesh.
Dangerous times for SA
If Steyn doesn't recover and Amla too is unable to get back in the playing XI, South Africa's campaign, already looking very unsteady, would be in danger of completely going off the rails.
The Proteas have been dubbed as 'chokers' for repeatedly failing to perform on the stage of major ICC tournaments. This time around, they were not looked upon as one of the favourites. The sudden retirement of AB de Villiers last year denied them the services of their most dynamic limited-overs player.
However, the return to form of Hashim Amla in the practice match and the continuing success of Quinton de Kock gave the Proteas hope of producing a better effort this time than expected. Unfortunately for the Faf du Plessis-led team, while de Kock has failed to convert his good starts into big scores, Amla is yet to get an opportunity as he was forced to leave the field very early on in his innings.
The bowlers have also disappointed by allowing both the teams they bowled to in the first two games to score over 300 runs. With Ngidi now also out of the third game of the tournament for Proteas, it's an uphill task for them to stay in the hunt for the title.