De Villiers will turn it up against India - Domingo
The South African camp is confident their captain AB de Villiers will deliver in what could be a must-win match against India on Sunday. Though de Villiers contributed only four runs in two group matches, and is nursing a slight hamstring injury, South Africa coach Russell Domingo and de Villiers' team-mates expect him to come through when it counts.
"I have no concerns about AB de Villiers," Domingo said. "I'm expecting him to put in a big performance on Sunday. He's that type of player that when the team needs him, he'll turn it up on Sunday. I'm sure about that."
De Villiers will be treated for his niggle - a tight right hamstring - over the next two days and will have a fitness test on Saturday to determine his availability for Sunday's match.
In the absence of runs from de Villiers, South Africa have had to rely on Hashim Amla against Sri Lanka and David Miller against Pakistan to provide backbone for their innings. Miller was happy to share the load. "It is tough [when AB doesn't perform]," Miller said. He is the best player in the world so it's nice when he does perform, and that's 95% of the time.
"I haven't seen him go out for a nought too many times in his career. He is human at the end of the day and there are enough good batters in the team to contribute as well. I don't think it's a huge problem at all. We've done well over the last two-and-a-half years and all the batters that we have can do the job. AB, unfortunately, didn't come off but he is definitely due on Sunday."
All the talk about Sunday's match and the expectations of de Villiers performing may only put pressure on a man who is already under some strain. De Villiers' form was questioned before the tournament, after an IPL which even Domingo described as "quiet," although de Villiers felt he was "hitting the ball better than ever".
That may be true but, after his first golden duck in 212 ODI innings, he is also hitting the ball straight to fielders. The pressure on de Villiers is mounting and for Morne Morkel that means the rest of the South African seniors have to step up.
"It's a big tournament for him (AB), and for all of us. We are hungry to take this trophy back home. He is only human. Us as players or team-mates, we need to stand up as well and take responsibility," Morkel said. "It's not all on AB's shoulders. "
With de Villiers opting out of Test cricket for the rest of this year, a second child on the way, and the way he has spoken about wanting to manage his time, speculation over his international career is growing. But Morkel said de Villiers still had the desire to keep going. "AB has got all the energy and is still hungry to play," he said.
Morkel intends to be at de Villiers' side in that. After a comeback to the ODI side following a year on the sidelines, the fast bowler provided South Africa's attack with much-needed stability. Although he continues to compete with an allrounder for his place in the XI, Morkel was hopeful of playing against India on Sunday, expecting "something special" from a South African side.
"It's going to take a big team effort to knock over India," he said. "They are a confident team at the moment but we have to back ourselves to win."
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent