Ireland will know only person matters more than anyone else when they take on South Africa in a Pool B match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Canberra – get AB De Villiers out early, Ireland have a chance; allow De Villiers to take charge, it is bye, bye birdie.
De Villiers showed just why he is regarded as the best batsman in the world right now with a ridiculously sublime hundred against the West Indies, a hundred which even put Chris Gayle's 215, hit not too long ago, to shade. If De Villiers finds his mark again, South Africa will either put a score well beyond Ireland's capabilities, or they will chase down any total in a hurry.
"It obviously will be a challenge," said Ireland captain William Porterfield when asked about stopping the most-of-the-time unstoppable De Villiers. "You can sit all day and talk about him and different theories and plans and whatever, but as I said, you've got to stick it on with your best ball and how you go about things.
"You don't have to reinvent the wheel or change how you play really against one player. He obviously has a special talent, but you've been doing something yourself. Each bowler has got their own skills. They've done it over a number of years.
"They've got to back themselves and back the field that's been set and how well they want to get hit, and if he hits that over their heads or down their throats, then so be it. You've got to be in control of what you are in control of and that is letting the ball go.
"Look, if he plays the way he plays, then so be it. But we'll have everyone individual plans for each of them, and hopefully we'll see the back of them early."
Ireland do not exactly have the bowling firepower to stop a batting lineup like South Africa's – they sorely lack in pace – but then that might just work in their favour. All the South Africa batsmen, including De Villiers, is so used to the ball coming at them in a hurry, and maybe a little lack of pace will help Ireland's cause.
It is clutching at straws a little bit, but Ireland have shown they are capable of beating any side in the world, especially as they go into every match without fear and fully believing they can win.
"If you look at their record, they've continued to knock down the door and they keep on getting shut out," said former Ireland and current South Africa assistant coach Adrian Birrell when asked about Ireland turning their frustration at not becoming a Full Member nation yet by beating such teams time and again in big tournaments. "So they are angry and I understand that. That's a driving factor and something which makes them play even harder to prove the Full Member teams wrong.
"They bat deep and they know how to chase targets. Four out of the top 10 World Cup chases are Ireland chases, three of them over 300 and two of them against Full Member teams. We're fully aware of what they can do. I'm probably more aware than most, so we'll be prepared."
South Africa are at their best defending totals, while Ireland love to chase – so the toss might not be that big a factor, and it might all come down to -- as it always seems to in ODIs – the batting.
Confirmed lineups: South Africa: Quinton De Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis, Rilee Rossouw, AB De Villiers, David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.
Ireland: William Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien, Andy Balbirnie, Gary Wilson, Kevin O'Brien, John Mooney, George Dockrell, Max Sorensen, Andy McBrine.
Where to Watch Live
South Africa vs Ireland is scheduled for a 2.30 pm local time (9 am IST, 3.30 am GMT, 10.30 pm ET) start with live coverage in India on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports HD3, Asianet Movies and Suvarna Plus. Audience in India and a whole host of other countries across the world can also watch the match via live streaming online on Starsports.com or Star Sports Live Pro.
South Africa viewers can catch the action live on SuperSport or live stream the match on SuperSport Live. Viewers in Ireland and the UK can tune into Sky Sports 2 to watch the match, or catch the action online on Sky Go. ESPN will show the match live in the US, while the game can also be live streamed on ESPN Cricket.
Australia viewers can watch the match live on Channel 9 and Fox Sports or via live stream on Foxtel and Cricket Australia Live. Audience in New Zealand will be able to watch the game live on Sky TV or Sky Go NZ.