Dale Steyn has been ruled out of South Africa’s entire World Cup campaign, in a sizeable blow to the Proteas.
The 35-year-old had been battling to overcome a shoulder injury in time for Wednesday’s make-or-break clash with India in Southampton.
But the veteran seamer has been forced to admit defeat in that fitness quest, leaving head coach Ottis Gibson’s side struggling on the injury front.
South Africa have called up left-arm pace bowler Beuran Hendricks as a replacement, with Lungi Ngidi also nursing a hamstring problem.
Paceman Anrich Nortje was ruled out with a thumb issue before the tournament even started.
South Africa have endured a wretched start to the World Cup, losing to hosts England by 104 runs then slipping to a 21-run loss to Bangladesh on Sunday.
The Proteas now face a must-win clash with India, but their depth will be severely tested by this injury glut.
Head coach Gibson insisted on Monday that Steyn was winning his injury fight, but less than 24 hours later the talismanic figure was out of the competition.
Gibson said on Monday: “Dale is getting closer every day. He reckons he’s about 85 per cent, and we have to decide whether 85 per cent is good enough to play against India.
“We lost Lungi, he’s going to be at least a week. We lost two bowlers before the tournament started and now Lungi too.
“So we’re under pressure, but now there’s an opportunity for the bench to step up.”