Sachin will have a good night sleep and be at his best: Dhoni

Mumbai: Indian skipper M S Dhoni on Friday said that batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar would not have an anxious night ahead of tomorrow`s World Cup final at his home ground at the Wankhede Stadium here, although he is just one short of his century of centuries in international cricket.

"Ever since he made his debut in 1989, for last 21 years the whole of India has been expecting him to score runs. I don`t think it`s anything new," Dhoni said.

"He`s achieved a lot and does not need to do anything more. He will have a good night sleep, turn up on the field and be at his best," he added.

Tendulkar, who has 51 Test tons and 48 ODI hundreds, scored two brilliant centuries against England and South Africa in the league stage of the tournament but the magical third ton in the Cup to reach the memorable landmark has eluded him till the semi-final when he made 85 against Pakistan at Mohali.

"As I always say it`s not about the result, you can`t control the result. What you can control is how you are preparing and if you are preparing well and if it`s your day you can get big runs and make your team win. No point thinking about what milestone you are supposed to achieve," said Dhoni.

"Being the kind of individual he is, he always thinks of going on to the field and give his best. It`s his love and passion for cricket. Every time he turns up for practice or a game he`s 100 per cent there.

"He gets there with a purpose on mind. And till such time it does not get resolved he does not leave the field. With the talent he has got more often than not he gets it rectified within two hours," the skipper added.

Further praising the legendary batsman, Dhoni said Tendulkar`s attitude has not changed for the last 21 years.

"He`s an amazing person to have. His attitude has not changed for 21 years. Most people would have lost interest.

With Sachin, God has made him to play cricket and he`s been doing it for the past 21 years and will continue to do for a few more years to come," he concluded.

"It was a big game, India-Pakistan game is always big and when you see the guest list there`s further pressure on you.

There`s pressure on individual when you are playing Pakistan.

Of course we were quite drained after the semifinal. But the next two days we had utilized to the best way we could have.

Hopefully it will help us give off our best in the final," Dhoni said.

"One good thing is we did not have a long wait between the semifinal and final. Yesterday we were traveling and today we had practice. That helps in not looking too much into the future and be in the present. We are in the present and preparing for the big game because you want to do well in a tournament being held in India. You never know when you will get an opportunity to again play in a World Cup held in the sub continent," he said.

Dhoni said the format of the tournament has helped the Indians build up momentum and peak for the most important clash tomorrow at the right time.

"We slowly gained momentum which is very important because if you are too focused and intense from the start it becomes difficult to keep that intensity going for 40 days I think the format of the tournament gave us time to get into the groove of being at our best. We peaked at the right time and continued that peak the format gave those extra moments to grow with the tournament," he said.

He said the shuffling of the bowlers has been working well for the team.

"It`s important you rotate you bowlers you don`t follow a fixed plan. At times you can surprise the opposition by rotating the bowlers. Rotation is very important as each and everyone share that responsibility. The Individuals have responded well to the bowling changes," said the Indian captain.

Dhoni issued a veiled warning on the Sri Lankans by saying that the home team has not played to its fullest potential.

"There is plenty to come. Still we have done quite well in the tournament. We have won one game with quite a few runs in pocket and another with quite a few wickets. If we do everything we can it will be very interesting (match)," he said.

"You want to end the tournament on a good note. You may have put in 200 per cent effort throughout the course of tournament but we all know full stop does not come sentence is not complete, we all know it. How well we need to prepare we know our strengths and weaknesses and what we need to do on the field. It`s a big game for all of us. Irrespective of what the result is I am proud of the team I have," he added.

In a lighter vein, Dhoni said retiring Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who is carrying a knee injury, will play even on one leg if it comes to that.

"As far as Muralitharan is concerned he`s a very special individual and was part of the Chennai Super Kings (IPL franchise) for the last three years. He`s a very good character to have in the dressing room and equally good opponent. He plays fair cricket, he believes himself and he`s a great entertainment on the field. I think he will definitely play the game unless he is on one leg," Dhoni said.

Dhoni said though it was coach Gary Kirsten`s last match as India coach, the team was focusing on the game and not what comes later.

"Everyone wants to do well in this game including Gary.

It`s about the present, we all know what Gary has done to the team, how he has changed Indian cricket, the dressing room atmosphere and the effort he has put it. We will think about it later. First things first, it`s the final tomorrow," he said.

He said that tomorrow`s being the final, the team winning the toss would like to bat first and put up a score to defend.

"it`s a big game, being the final. More often than not most teams would love to bat first, put runs on board and put pressure on the opposition. I feel that will be the only aspect.

"The wicket may become slower as the game progresses but I don`t think there will be too much of a difference apart from handling pressure which may be more in the second innings," he said.