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Dhoni hails Tendulkar career

India skipper in awe of star batsman's longevity

Tendulkar (left) and Dhoni: admiration

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has praised Sachin Tendulkar's dedication to his craft ahead of Saturday's World Cup final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai.

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"He is an amazing person to have around, and the attitude has not changed for the last 21 years."

Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sachin Tendulkar

Quotes of the week

Tendulkar is chasing the 100th hundred of a stunning 21-year career at international level, and though he fell just short of it with a charmed 85 against Pakistan in the semi-final, he could now reach the landmark in the sport's showpiece match, in his home city.

"He has a love and passion for cricket," said Dhoni. "Every time he turns up for a practice session or a game he is 100 percent there, he never turns up just for the sake of it.

"He gets there with a purpose in mind and until that gets resolved he is one person who won't leave the field.

Amazing

"More often than not, with the kind of talent he has got, you can be sure that in two hours it gets rectified. He is an amazing person to have around, and the attitude has not changed for the last 21 years.

"Most people would have lost interest (over that time), but with Sachin I think God just made him to play cricket and he has been doing that for the past 21 years, and hopefully a few more years to come.

"He made his debut in 1989 if I'm not wrong and for the last 21 years the whole of India has been expecting things from him. I don't think it's anything new, but being the kind of individual he is, he always thinks about going on to the field and giving his best.

"If you have prepared well, and it's your day, you can get the big runs and you can make your team win.

"There is no point thinking about what milestone you're supposed to achieve - he has achieved a lot and he doesn't need to prove anything to anyone, it's just about himself.

"He will just prepare well, have a good night's sleep and turn up on the field and be at his best."

Dhoni, who will be without injured paceman Ashish Nehra against Sri Lanka, has been impressed with how his side have paced their progress through the tournament and wants them to maintain what he believes is their "peak" level, reached during victories over Australia and Pakistan in the knockout stages.

"You want to end the tournament on a good note. You may have put in 200 percent effort during the course of the tournament but we all know that 'full stop' hasn't come. The sentence is not complete," he said.

"We all know how well we need to prepare, we know the strengths and weaknesses and what we need to do on the field.

"We slowly gained momentum which is very important and the format of the tournament gave us some time to get into the groove of being at our best.

"We have peaked at the right time and we continue that peak. The format gave us those extra moments where we could say 'okay, we'll start lightly and as it progresses we will grow with the tournament'."

Scream

Dhoni tried to make light of the scheduling problems before the semi-final against Pakistan in Mohali which led to the team not having anything to eat until after they had completed their warm-up.

"These are the things that can distract you to some extent, but what is important is what you can do about it - you may scream and you may shout but you won't get the food," he said.

"So what is important is to use the time in the best possible manner. We went to the field, we had our warm-up and the food that we had was before the toss.

"The situation was different over there, there were not many big hotels in Mohali like there are here, and there are even quite a few friends here who could bring food in half an hour's time, so I don't think that will be a big distraction as such."

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