India's calmness will be key in final, says Dhoni

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JOHANNESBURG, Sep 23 (Reuters) India captain Mahendra Dhoni believes his team's calmness under pressure during their thrilling run in the Twenty20 World Cup will stand them in good stead for tomorrow's final against Pakistan.

''We have been playing tough matches. We played against Pakistan, New Zealand, a do-or-die match against South Africa and then we beat Australia, so we have been under a lot of pressure, but you learn to deal with it and we are getting used to it,'' Dhoni told reporters today.

''So we will treat the final as just another do-or-die match.

You need to go on to the field and give 100 percent and not worry too much about the outcome.'' Dhoni, recently appointed as India's limited-overs captain, has impressed with his leadership and shown himself to be a cool operator under pressure.

''You have to be calm when you make decisions that will have a big impact on the game. If you are calm, you have more chance of making the right decisions, but having several team mates who have played over a hundred international matches really helps too,'' he said.

The Indian wicketkeeper/batsman rated the sheer unpredictability of both finalists as the main reason for their success in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup.

EXCITING FINAL ''For both teams, you can't predict much about them and that's why the leading teams in world cricket are scared of us,'' Dhoni said.

''They don't know what to expect and hopefully that will make for an exciting cup final. Hopefully, there will be good cricket and no incidents.'' He added that the team who seized the initiative in the closing stages of the innings would control the final.

''The most dangerous player depends on the day, whichever batsman gets in and is striking the ball well.

''But the last eight overs have a big impact, so you have to keep wickets in hand, then you can score anything, 80 to 120 runs, in the last eight overs.'' India go into the final with Yuvraj Singh showing the most destructive form of any batsman in the competition, and Dhoni said he was a trump card.

''I have not seen anyone bat like he has been. Whatever shot he plays, it goes over the ropes.'' India and Pakistan went out in the first round of this year's 50-over World Cup in the Caribbean but have swept most of their opponents aside in the Twenty20 championship.

Pakistan are unbeaten, having lost only after a bowl out following a tie in their group stage match with India, who themselves lost a Super Eights game to New Zealand.

The winners of tomorrow's final, which starts at 0530 hrs ist will take home 490,000 dollars.

REUTERS TB RK2120

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