New Delhi: Former South African skipper Graeme Smith slammed AB de Villiers' side after their poor performance against England in the Test series.
The Saffers were bowled out for 83 in their second innings of the 3rd Test on Saturday to not only lose the series but also their tag as the best Test team in the world.
Smith believes the team think tank is responsible for the decline the Proteas' fortunes of late.
"The players have to take responsibility for their performances, there's no doubt about that, but the management do too," Smith told SuperSport.
"They haven't quite come into the equation of late. At the end of the day the performances of the test team for the last year haven't been good enough, so you have to ask questions of everybody.
"How is management getting the best out of them, how are they preparing them, are they directed in the right way, do they need to be firmer, do they need to be softer? I don't know.
"These are all questions that need to come out of the environment. When you are not performing well, people are going to ask questions and you've got to live with it."
Having lost senior players Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher in recent years, Smith feels there is a leadership vacuum in the side.
"Some of the decision-making around the space looks a bit worrisome for me. The team seems a bit flat. Some of the messages coming out in the press conferences don't seem positive and it's coming from senior players.
"You're are in a big series and there is a lot of negativity among your senior players. It looks like someone needs to grab the bull by the horns and say, 'listen guys, let's wake up and let's pull our finger out and let's go and play some test cricket'."
The fourth and final test, now a dead rubber, starts in Pretoria on Friday.
(With Agency inputs)