There's also a question mark over Laxman's availability after he missed the Mirpur game due to a finger injury and suddenly the middle order shows a huge void that the selectors would find hard to fill.
The front runners for taking up the slots that would become vacant due to the likely absence of these main batsmen are Subramaniam Badrinath, who has been with the team in home ties without getting a look-in, one-day specialists Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, and young talent Manish Pandey of Karnataka.
Right-handed Badrinath, the Tamilnadu and South Zone captain who is on the wrong side of the 20s in age, has vast experience in first class cricket and has scored over 5,000 runs in domestic cricket and is the most steady of the quartet.
Raina, Sharma and Kohli have shown what they are capable of in the limited-over games with their bold strokes and have recently displayed maturity to play the longer version of the game in domestic cricket.
Pandey, in the early 20s like Sharma and Kolhi, has suddenly jumped into the fray after his splendid display for his state team Karnataka in this year's Ranji Trophy, especially in the thrilling final at Mysore against eventual champions Mumbai with a fighting second innings hundred that took the home team on the doorsteps of victory.
And then there's the option for the selectors to fall back on Mohammed Kaif of Uttar Pradesh if they want an experienced man to prop up the middle order which looks shorn of the needed steel to counter the SA pace attack.
Kaif had an ordinary run in the Ranji Trophy for UP who made the semis before losing to Karnataka. But the one-day discard's double century in the Duleep Trophy quarter final against East Zone in Mohali followed by
the gritty 112 on the opening day of the semi final against South Zone at Indore yesterday that lifted Central from a deep rut has suddenly pitch-forked him into the reckoning.
There is also the option of including regular India 'A' players Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, both of who have scored consistently in domestic cricket and would be in consideration.
How many from this lot make it to the squad would depend on the fitness of Laxman whose finger injury needed ten stitches to mend.