De Villiers debate not impacting South Africa, says Du Plessis

The debate surrounding AB de Villiers' late bid to join South Africa's World Cup squad has given the team "purpose", says Faf du Plessis.

Faf du Plessis says the mood in the South African camp is still positive.   -  Getty Images

Faf du Plessis has reiterated his support for AB de Villiers but insisted the controversy over his attempted South Africa comeback is not negatively affecting the team.

South Africa's hopes of progression in the World Cup appear as dark the clouds that surrounded the Hampshire Bowl in its rained off clash against West Indies on Monday.

And back home the rumbles of discontent continued to grow following the revelation that De Villiers' approach to return to the team prior to the tournament was halted by selectors.

Du Plessis continues to back the 35-year-old, who stepped away from the game last year, but stated the emergence of the story had not had a negative impact.

"It was just a conversation, a phonecall the night before the team got announced," said the captain after just 45 balls could be bowled against the Windies at Southampton.

"I said to him, I think it is too late but I will check in with the coach and the selectors to get their opinion.

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"When I spoke the next day, they all agreed that it was way, way too late to change the team.

"We do feel like the news came in and went through the team. It didn't have a huge impact.

"But it is stuff like that you feel can give you direction in your team and give you purpose to focus on what lies ahead."

However, even in the short time play was possible against West Indies, the cracks that saw the Proteas start their campaign with three straight defeats were on show.

Hashim Amla found himself caught in the slip cordon for the second successive game without hitting double figures, but his captain has backed him to come good over the remaining five must-win games.

Du Plessis added: "He will be disappointed he got out, but he has been hitting the ball really well in the nets so we just are hoping it's around the corner for him.

"It is tough on a wicket like that, opening up the innings, you need a bit of luck to go your way.

"So like most of our batters, it's a case of getting in and getting the starts converted into runs."

South Africa moves away from Southampton with hopes it can achieve its first win of the tournament against Afghanistan in Cardiff on Saturday.