'Made by God to play cricket'

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

Mumbai - India great Sachin Tendulkar was "made by God just to play cricket" said captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni ahead of Saturday's World Cup final against Sri Lanka.

Tendulkar, on his home Wankhede Stadium ground where one of the stands is named after him, will try to achieve a lifelong dream by winning his first World Cup title at his sixth edition.

"When God made Tendulkar, he made him just to play cricket," Dhoni told the Mail Today newspaper.

"From the very first ball he ever faced on the international scene, he has looked at giving his 100 percent. Players have come and players have gone, but Tendulkar has just grown from strength to strength."

The 37-year-old Tendulkar, who made his international debut at 16, goes into Saturday's match needing just one more century to score a hundred international hundreds.

"It might be a big occasion for every player out in the middle, but if anything Tendulkar will use the pressure to his advantage," added Dhoni.

"Irrespective of whether he gets his 100th international century or not, he has achieved what not many cricketers can dream of."

Asked what set Tendulkar apart, Dhoni replied: "It definitely has to be his level of dedication towards the game and the intensity with which he has played for the last 21 years.

"Even today, he takes every training session seriously. He would much rather not turn up for training than joke around once on the ground. He doesn't leave anything for tomorrow."

The captain jokingly added: "We are blessed that he is a genius and the two or three-hour training sessions that we have are enough to correct his mistakes, else we might have been stranded on the ground forever."

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