Sri Lanka too suffered an nearly as heavy a loss in going down by 96 runs to South Africa first up in a tournament featuring the world's top eight one-day global teams.
Pakistan started their campaign on a disastrous note with a 124-run thrashing at the hands of arch-rivals India before punching above their weight to beat South Africa by 19 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis Method. He made his debut only last year, when M.S. Dhoni called him the find of the Australian tour, and it is awesome how quickly the 23-year-old has risen to become an integral part of India's limited-overs bowling units.
South Africa crumbled from 116 for one to 191 all out in good batting conditions at The Oval before Shikhar Dhawan (78) and Virat Kohli (76 not out) shared a fluent partnership of 128 to lead India to victory with 12 overs to spare.
Unlike de Villiers, who said he had no answer for South Africa's lapses under pressure, du Plessis repeatedly pointed to a dereliction of duty - not just against India but in the tournament as a whole - as the reason for their failure this time.
Cricket South Africa selector Linda Zondi said: "I would like to thank Farhaan Behardien for leading the side so ably in the recent series against Sri Lanka". Still, South Africa's superstars barely shone. I can take us to win a World Cup, I believe.
"Through soft dismissals we lost our way and that was the part that hurt the most".
This isn't what AB de Villiers stopped playing test cricket for.
And David Miller's [too].
Faf du Plessis is one of the key elements in this side. He made it to his crease a fraction before Miller, who was sent back to the dressing room.
After the flurry of South African run outs, India were lucky not to follow suit at the start of their chase. "When you see one spinner bowl well, the other spinner also bowls well", he said. You know, I am really delighted for all the bowlers to have executed their plans well in such a big game. "I wouldn't like to blame guys".
The only time South Africa came close to dismissing Kohli was when a thick edge off Phehlukwayo, in the 16th over, flew off to the lone slip fielder Hashim Amla but he failed to latch on to the catch.
Speaking at the post-match press conference he said,"The run out of AB De Villiers was one fo the turning points of the match.The pressure was put on by our bowlers". He took 1-43. "You have to understand how to speak to them and how to communicate and discuss things with them", Kohli explained. But they made little impact.
Kohli hardly had to break sweat as he reached his 68th ODI fifty. Suddenly, the pressure was back on India but that was when Dhawan chose to break free and he did it in style with two beautifully timed boundaries in the tenth over.
The team bowled almost 24 maiden overs, an example of their stranglehold on the opposition batsmen. They were calm and assured.