- Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen said they missed their regular captain Temba Bavuma during the Pakistan T20 series.
- Bavuma was waylaid by a hamstring injury he sustained in the third ODI and didn't play in the T20 series that SA lost 3-1.
- Van der Dussen defended the Proteas selection process as they played with only four front-line batsmen in their three-wicket loss.
Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen said the loss of Temba Bavuma was felt following the side's 3-1 T20I series loss against Pakistan.
A hamstring injury sustained in the third ODI against Pakistan at SuperSport Park ruled Bavuma out of the T20I series.
Van der Dussen, who missed the third ODI and the first two T20Is through injury, returned to stabilise the batting with knocks of 34* and 52 after making 123* and 60 in the first two ODIs.
There also was the loss of five star players to the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
Still, in the aftermath of the three-wicket defeat in the fourth T20 on Friday, Van der Dussen said they were brilliant at stages before inconsistency let them down.
"We've had our challenges, but from the outset, we lost guys to the IPL but losing Temba was also a bit of a blow," Van der Dussen told reporters on Friday.
"It has been challenging, but in the same breath, it has allowed for guys to show what they're about. Some of the guys are experienced franchise players and they came into the series with a lot of cricket under their belts.
"When you seven of your best players, any team in the world will be up against it. The guys that came in were brilliant at stages, but I think it was only at the Wanderers where we put in a complete performance and patchy in other games," he said.
"It was disappointing, but we know that when we click with seven new guys in the team, we can beat a team like Pakistan."
An interesting move by the selectors, which Wednesday's third T20 defeat could've forced, was to load the team with an extra all-rounder as Wiaan Mulder made his T20 debut.
Mulder replaced Pite van Biljon and joined Andile Phehlukwayo and George Linde. The middle-order collapse showed up the bowling heavy folly as SA were bowled out for 144 in 19.3 overs.
South Africa played with only four front-line batsmen, with Van der Dussen (52) and Janneman Malan (33), making decent headway.
Van der Dussen stated that the all-rounders are batsmen in their own right, even though their tactics didn't come off.
"The guys who are expected to bat in the middle-order are all-rounders, yes, but they are good batters in their own right, and they know they've got a job to do with bat and ball," said Van der Dussen.
"That didn't really on my mind too much, and as a team, we know how we want to bat and the checkpoints we want to reach at certain stages. We just lost a wicket too many in the middle-overs, but the all-rounders are picked to bat and bowl. Unfortunately, it didn't come off for them."