South Africa captain Faf du Plessis felt that his young pacers' inability to strike at the World Cup 2019 has a been major factor for its declining performances in the tournament. The Proteas quicks were unable to contain the likes of Babar Azam (69) and Haris Sohail (89) as they laid the foundation for Pakistan's score of 308/7 in 50 overs. In reply, South Africa fell 49 runs short, which sealed its elimination.

“Last year, they (Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi) have been brilliant for us, and they have been striking. Kagi (Rabada) has been bowling quick right through the season. I do feel Lungi’s fitness is perhaps the thing that is his biggest challenge,” du Plessis said, after Sunday's defeat at Lord's.

Elaborating on Ngidi’s problems, du Plessis said: “He hasn't played a lot of cricket. His pace is probably a little bit down from where he used to be, so that's taking the effectiveness of him away.”

“He has had his control, but he hasn't played a lot of games in this World Cup, and I think his fitness is probably one big challenge that he would need to step up,” the captain said.

While Rabada went wicketless for 63 runs against Pakistan, Lungi bagged three for 64, but even that wasn’t enough to restrict Pakistan to below 300 runs.

“Kagi is trying. They haven't started the tournament well; and therefore, your confidence has taken a bit of a hit, and it just rolls on. It's such a snowball effect that your performance, you open your eyes, and you're doing the same thing again,” du Plessis said.

However, Du Plessis felt that the World Cup 2019 is a part of the learning curve for Rabada.

 “He’s a great bowler. He will be able to fix that. His career has been one that's been probably just going up and up, every time he's played for us. So this is probably his first stumbling block as a great fast bowler,” du Plessis said.

“So for him now, it will be to how he responds, how he learns in this period and how he makes sure he gets better. Because he has been great for us, but now he needs to take stock of where his bowling is and then try and get better as a bowler,” he added.

South Africa will next face Sri Lanka on Friday at Chester-le-Street and then travel to Manchester for its final match against Australia.