LONDON • South Africa cannot afford any more mistakes at the World Cup and will need to win almost all their remaining seven games if they hope to qualify for the semi-finals, said former all-rounder Jacques Kallis.
They lost their tournament opener to England by 104 runs before suffering an upset 21-run defeat against Bangladesh on Sunday, leaving them with "no margin for error".
In a column for the International Cricket Council, Kallis wrote: "You'll need six wins, maybe five with a really good run rate, to finish in the top four. So South Africa almost need to win every game they will play."
The top-four teams from the new round-robin format qualify for the semi-finals and defeat against India tomorrow could also potentially affect South Africa's net run rate, which will decide the final standings if teams are tied on points and wins.
"It doesn't get any easier though against India but it's their first game and our third, so maybe that could give us the edge we need," Kallis added.
"Strange things happen in this sport and if we can get a win then we can go on a streak and we are still good enough to be contenders."
However, Kallis criticised captain Faf du Plessis for the lack of a Plan B during Bangladesh's innings.
He added: "It's great having a game plan but you need to have a backup when it's not working, I felt we were one step behind the entire match and just tactically a bit off. We need to be a bit smarter."
Injuries to South Africa's pace attack have also thrown a spanner in the works with experienced Dale Steyn yet to fully recover from a shoulder problem while Lungi Ngidi has a hamstring issue.
But Kallis felt the team now had to go for broke against India and "play all our cards".
The former skipper said: "(Ngidi's) a world-class player and a big part of our attack.
"You've got to play Steyn against India now, and hopefully, he is close to fitness.
"We can't afford anymore silly mistakes at vital stages. These are the best sides in the world and they'll always punish you."