South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis feels the group stage exit from the ongoing World Cup is the lowest point of his career as a captain.
"Yes, definitely (it is the lowest point). I'm a very proud player and captain, and playing for South Africa means a lot for me, and the fact that the results we're dishing out at the moment - you know, it's really, really tough, and borderline.
Today, it's a little bit embarrassing. We're trying but it's just not good enough. Obviously I'm human as well, so it will keep chipping at me," ESPNcricinfo quoted a dejected du Plessis as saying at the post-match press conference.
"It's important that the coach, myself, the senior players, are the guys that needs to front up to this challenge. That's when your players need you the most. So right now, I need to be there for the other players as well."
During the presser, the 32-year-old also revealed that he and the team management had tried to stop Rabada from playing this season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in order to keep him fresh for the showpiece event.
"I don't think we'll ever have a perfect answer for that because he's probably biting on too much," du Plessis said when asked about Rabada's workload.
"But we did try and get him not to go to the IPL; to try and stay and get fresh. That wasn't the case of -- and then when he went there, we were like, let's try and get him back halfway through the IPL because it's important, not just for him, but a few other players.
"I mean, I spoke about it before the IPL even started, that it's important that we try and find space to rest our three-format players, because they play all the formats all the time, and then IPL.
"So I don't think it's not necessarily just the IPL, but it was important for a few guys to rest; and the fact that they didn't meant that they -- you know, they came into the tournament not fresh. That's not an excuse; that's just a fact. And KG is -- you can see that his pace is probably a little bit down from where he normally is," he added.
In 2019, Rabada has till now bowled 303 overs in all competitions, 47 of which came at the IPL. During the IPL, he scalped 25 wickets at 14.72 from 12 games for Delhi Capitals.
However, the 24-year-old picked up a back injury at the back-end of the tournament and was eventually withdrawn by Cricket South Africa as a precautionary measure.
Rabada, expected to lead the Proteas pace battery in absence of Dale Steyn, proved ineffective in the disastrous World Cup campaign of the Proteas. In six innings at the World Cup so far, he has returned only six wickets at an average of 50.83, which is way too higher than his ODI career average of 27.74.
South Africa will now play against Sri Lanka on June 28, which will be followed by their last game of the tournament against Australia on July 6.