London - The Proteas are in a hole, and it will be difficult to get out of it as long as confidence in the camp is so low.
That is the assessment of skipper Faf du Plessis, who was a clearly emotional and gutted individual at Lord's on Sunday following a 49-run loss to Pakistan that secured South Africa's exit from the World Cup with two pool matches still remaining.
The Proteas have been dismal, losing five of their seven matches with one wash-out and a solitary victory over Afghanistan.
Nothing has gone right for South Africa since they arrived in England, with a combination of injuries and a complete lack of form contributing to what has been easily the lowest point of Du Plessis' reign as skipper.
"It chips away at your confidence," Du Plessis said after Sunday's match.
"It chips away at your ego. It chips away at you as a player.
"As much as I can say or the coach can say, the responsibility lies with every player to try and make sure that he comes to the park and give everything, and if confidence is an issue, you need to sort it out yourself.
"Everyone has played the game of cricket long enough to understand that you do go through highs and lows.
"The frustrating thing for us at the moment is we have got more people going through lows than highs, and therefore, the team confidence is low."
Du Plessis added that South Africa had not been good enough in either discipline.
"From a batting point of view, there's a lot of guys low on runs. You need at least three out of your five guys firing in a tournament like this to be successful, and at the moment, that's not happening," he said.
"And as I said, from a bowling point of view, we've been lucky enough that our bowling unit has been strong for a long period of time, and perhaps carried some of the batting units that we've had.
"On a day like today when they don't bowl well, then it makes it really tough for us to go and chase it down."
The Proteas must now find a way to get up for Friday's dead-rubber against Sri Lanka in Durham.
@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...