The mood in the Proteas camp must be sombre now ahead of the second Test against England at Trent Bridge.
With the match starting on Friday, the Proteas will be without coach Russell Domingo, banned pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada and a question mark over the fitness of new-ball superstar Vernon Philander.
Domingo rushed back to South Africa after the first Test defeat to be with his mother, who was on life support after her condition
deteriorated following a car accident last month.
On arrival though, he learnt that she had already died.
It’s still unclear when, and if, Domingo will rejoin the squad in England.
Rabada, meanwhile, will have to watch the next five days of Test cricket from the stands after he was banned for swearing.
Allrounder Philander is another doubtful inclusion after he suffered a knock to the hand in the first Test.
The light at the end of the tunnel is that Faf du Plessis has returned to the squad after the birth of his first child and will be ready to over take over the captain’s armband from Dean Elgar once again.
Du Plessis now has a moerse task ahead of him if he wants to fix his team.
But he already has a plan, saying: “This Test was a lot of errors and basic mistakes that we don’t normally do as a team – that will cost you.
“It’s a straightforward thing to focus on this week: do the basics better for longer and more consistently.
“And then you’ll have moments when you put pressure on the opposition.”