The here and now, arguably, has been forsaken for more pressing matters of the future. This mentality will only take a team - and its think tank - so far, though, before the need for immediate results outweighs premature foresight.

A timely Facebook comment from an astute supporter embodied South Africa's disappointment after this week's series defeat at the hands of a New Zealand unit five positions inferior in the ODI rankings.

"It's high time our limited-overs team stop being an experiment. Pick the best players at all times," insisted the follower, and - after Kimberley's capitulation - this remark continues a familiar debate.

In this day and age of jam-packed touring schedules and short turnarounds between series, player rotation is a hot topic, with Australia the latest to cop criticism for their decision to rest a handful of first-choice players during their five-ODI affair with Sri Lanka. The Proteas are bordering on similar censure.

Australia, at the time of writing, are on the brink of series defeat - or at least a series draw. The Proteas, meanwhile, are licking the wounds left by their glaring inadequacies against the Black Caps.

The presence of a reasonably second-string XI in Sydney and surrounds, however, begs reasoning. The Aussies have back-to-back Ashes series on the horizon, and a preceding tour of India to consider.

Suffice to say the one-dayers against the Sri Lankans were low on the agenda, and coach Mickey Arthur suggested as much after labelling critics of his rotation policy as "naive".

The temperamental bodies of fast bowlers like Peter Siddle and Dale Steyn require rest, while the unrelenting services of batsman such as Michael Hussey and Jacques Kallis demand interval - but at what cost?

The here and now, arguably, has been forsaken for more pressing matters of the future. This mentality will only take a team - and its think tank - so far, though, before the need for immediate results outweighs premature foresight.

The presence of Kallis, Hussey and preferred company across both series would probably have made for very different results. Instead, their absence, admittedly coupled with a handful of injuries, asks much of cricket's topflight teams.

South Africa, who conquered all before them in 2012 to rise to the helm of the Test rankings and later defend the title, in particular, require balance on the back of last year's success.

That balance, one surmises, lies in their limited-overs exploits. Kallis' public ambition to be a part of - and win - the 2015 World Cup epitomises the goal. ODI glory in a major ICC tournament has evaded the South Africans for more years than the number of letters that comprise the term 'chokers' and, with almost enough Test frontiers conquered recently, opportunity knocks for a slight switch in sights.

While achievement in the five-day arena can't be entirely ignored, it can be marginally retracted - and paired to it greater limited-overs nous and tactical acumen.

This has started with the identification of Faf du Plessis as a future leader of the Proteas and a larger role in short-format cricket for assistant coach Russell Domingo, and must be steadily increased and finalised across 2013.

The pressure will thus be eased on AB de Villiers and Gary Kirsten. The same can be said of Arthur's relationship with his assistant Steve Rixon, and the Michael Clarke's interchanging relationship with his understudy George Bailey.

Kirsten, like Arthur, is not raw to the rigours of international cricket - and its heavily-laden calendar. England, too, have wised up by splitting a role once dealt to one man between Andy Flower and Ashley Giles. Other countries will eventually follow suit, across their player pool and management team alike.

To what extent cricketers and backroom staff are rotated, and which format or series is afforded the stronger contingent will be a precarious ask - answered by the team's ability to counter inclination to focus on the future with the requirement of instant results.