Birmingham - Proteas captain Faf du Plessis believes that there are a number of young players in the set-up who stand the national team in good stead moving beyond the disappointment of the 2019 World Cup. 

South Africa's final over defeat to New Zealand at Edgbaston on Wednesday means they have just one victory from six fixtures at the tournament. 

Battered and bruised, the Proteas have almost certainly been eliminated from the competition. 

It has been a nightmarish journey for Du Plessis and his men, and the poor returns have understandably been met with harsh criticism from supporters back home.

The Proteas still need to find the motivation to get through three more effective dead rubbers against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia, but after that the Cricket South Africa (CSA) leadership will have to plot the way forward. 

There is uncertainty over the future of coach Ottis Gibson, selection convenor Linda Zondi has reached the end of his term and there are a number of players who will, in all likelihood, not play ODI cricket for South Africa beyond the tournament.

Imran Tahir and JP Duminy have both announced their retirement from ODI cricket at the end of the World Cup, but it is hard to see Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla playing further roles down the line while the likes of skipper Du Plessis (34) and David Miller (30) will also come under the spotlight. 

At some point - and sooner rather than later - the planning for 2023 will need to begin. 

It is the end of an era in South African cricket, and the future is uncertain. 

Du Plessis, however, believes that there are enough talented youngsters around to keep the Proteas strong.

"I think that will happen naturally with quite a few guys at the end of their careers," Du Plessis said of a possible clean-out in South African cricket.

"Depending on Cricket South Africa, I feel in terms of what they believe is a good way forward, they might want a complete change.

"But those are things you sit down and talk about.

"The young guys, I've really backed them this tournament. I think they've got a great future ahead of them."

Kagiso Rabada (24), Lungi Ngidi (23), Andile Phehlukwayo (23) and Aiden Markram (24) are the obvious members of the class of 2019 who will be expected to lead the charge in India in 2023, but Du Plessis also made mention of 30-year-old Rassie van der Dussen, who has burst onto the international stage and has been the standout for South Africa in England. 

"Rassie has shown that he's the real deal. I think he's got leadership capabilities as well. He's standing up to be a strong man in a big tournament for us," Du Plessis said.

"Andile has done well as a young guy.

"Aiden, we know the kind of player he is. He showed signs today that he can do it.

"What will naturally happen is you'll probably lose six or seven players after this tournament.

"Whether you want to change more than that, no, I don't think you need to do more than that."

South Africa are next in action when they take on Pakistan at Lord's on Sunday at 11:30.

@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...