Proteas coach Mark Boucher was making no excuses after his side's ODI series loss to Pakistan despite being without six of his first-choice players for Wednesday's decider at Centurion.
Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi were all unavailable having left for this year's IPL while, on Wednesday morning, Rassie van der Dussen was also ruled out with injury.
The new-look Proteas fell 28 runs short of Pakistan's 320, losing the series, and speaking after the contest Boucher acknowledged his disappointment.
"It's a tough one because we've got to start winning series, especially at home," he said.
"We knew some time ago that the IPL guys were going to be leaving and Rassie was unfortunately another blow. It was nice to give opportunities to the guys coming in and some of them did well, so those are the positives.
"Unfortunately, this is not about individuals, this is about a team and we've lost a series against Pakistan at home. We're very disappointed."
Boucher said, over the course of the series, his side had lacked an element of consistency in "winning the big moments" while he also called on his senior players to step up.
"We need our senior players to step up and win more games for us in high pressure situations ... I know they're trying," he said.
"I think it's winning the big moments. When we're not having good pockets in the game, we're really bad. You saw that today in the last two overs where there was over 40 runs scored. If we keep that to 25, then we have a better chance to win tight games.
"The other day when we lost at SuperSport Park, we probably played 50% cricket and we still had a chance of winning. It's just little things that we need to shape up on. We need to play at a higher intensity, especially in the field.
"There is a lot to work on."
Attention will now turn to a four-match T20 series where the Proteas could be without captain Temba Bavuma (hamstring) and Van der Dussen (quad).
But, despite the result in the ODI series, Boucher says the energy in the squad will be positive.
"I don't think there is any negativity. It's a young squad and the guys are all desperate for opportunities," he said.
"It's not ideal having a couple of injuries, but it brings an opportunity and I know there are quite a few very hungry guys in our T20 squad who would like to represent their county and see what it's all about at international level."
The first T20 takes place on Saturday at the Wanderers from 14:30.