Eager to shake off a 'chokers' tag in ICC world events, the world's top ranked Test team are still to prove themselves in the Twenty20 format.
In the four previous T20 World Cups South Africa have progressed to the semi-finals just once - in England in 2009 - and with lynchpins Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith no longer in their ranks, it would be a surprise to see the Proteas lift the trophy on April 6.
Their Twenty20 preparations leading up to the event have been less than convincing, too, with a 2-0 series defeat to Australia leaving more question than answers about their current starting XI.
Their previous T20 form was promising and series wins in the UAE and Sri Lanka are evidence that the Proteas can prevail on pitches that are expected to nullify South Africa's men strength, pace.
In Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel the Proteas have two of the most feared seamers in world cricket, while Wayne Parnell is certainly no slouch.
Imran Tahir could thrive in the spin-friendly conditions and in the seven T20Is he has featured in, the Proteas have won five.
Despite the absence of messrs Smith and Kallis, few can dispute South Africa's batting prowess and in AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and the emerging Quinton de Kock they have three of the finest strokemakers in the tournament.
'Six-hitters' are so often match-winners and South Africa's top-order will look to set a platform for which David Miller and Albie Morkel can tee off down the order.
A solid each-way shout but a big test for rookie captain Faf du Plessis.
Squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, JP Duminy, Beuran Hendricks, Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, , AB de Villiers.
Who will win the 2014 ICC World Twenty20?