When South Africa beat the West Indies at the start of 2015, few would have suspected that that would be the only Test they would win in 2015 making it their last Test win. They played only seven more Tests but lost four - three to India in their first series defeat away from home in nine years and one to England to start the home summer on a sour note.
Could the Proteas be heading down the path of the West Indies? Once a formidable force, but now they are there for the taking.
The current series with England is looking like the visitors will take a 2-0 series lead in the best of four to be played over the summer. This is against an England side that was in shambles not too long ago.
Looking at their line up, there is a lot of new talent that is unproven and lacking the experience around them. The bowling line-up in particular looks the most depleted we've seen it in quite sometime.
The main concern surrounding South African cricket at the moment is team balance, which has become skewed in the absence of a specialist opener (who they haven't been able to find since the retirement of Smith), a fragile middle order, and a bowling attack whose spearhead regularly breaks down.
During their series with India, South Africa were dismantled. Apart from two-half centuries by de Villiers, one each in the series opener in Mohali and the Second Test, in Bangalore, the batting was woeful.
Amla hit a rut he remains stuck in, Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy were shown up technically, and the middle order melted.
Philander and Dale Steyn were injured and missed three of the four Tests. Morne Morkel missed the first. As a unit, South Africa couldn't get it together and they paid the price in the first Test against England and a currently in the second Test, it looks like more of the same.
Serious questions hover over team selection and team satisfaction. There are rumours of unhappiness in the dressing room, and the possibility of early retirements lurks.
On commentary, former captain Graeme Smith has hinted there is a lack of leadership and that the coaching staff are under pressure. The only consolation is that the limited-overs teams are looking strong - the T20 squad is in good shape and the ODI team is winning - and if they can do it, so can the Test side.
However, you know something must be wrong when you don't have one player in the Test team of the year despite being ranked as the number one Test team.
Big personnel changes are on the horizon as South Africa's ageing core looks for its exit strategy. Even if de Villiers stays on, he is certain to play fewer matches as he seeks to manage his workload, and injuries may force Steyn to quit.
Winter Tests against New Zealand may provide the first opportunity for those changes to take place. The November tour to Australia will complete a year of 10 Tests, starting with the two remaining fixtures in the England series and followed by a visit from Sri Lanka. In between all of that, the World T20 presents another shot at major tournament silverware.
South Africa must ensure that a succession plan is in place and all off-field issues are sorted out. Sri Lanka and New Zealand are no push overs when it comes to Test cricket, so there will be no easy games from here on out.
Australia were able to get through their period of transition post Hayden, Gilchrist, Warne and McGrath era and are doing so again this summer after the retirements of Brad Haddin, Chris Rogers, Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson.
What South Africa must avoid is going down the path of the West Indies who have been stuck in a rut since the 70s. Both their domestic systems are similar which does represent a worry for the Proteas, but only time will tell if South Africa can get through this period.
It must be acknowledged that they still are the No.1 ranked Test side for now and got to that position for a reason which is an incredible achievement, but you get the feeling India will unsurp them following the current series with England.