Rohit Sharma hit 72 runs to guide India to a 1-0 lead over the West Indies by winning the first ODI on November 29, 2011. (AP Photo)
Visakhapatnam: Comeback man Rohit Sharma, who was the architect of India's nail-biting one-wicket win in the first ODI in Cuttack, on Thursday said leaving the task unfinished for the tailenders was a mistake he would never repeat again.
Sharma saved the day for India in the first ODI with a match-winning 99-ball 72 after the home team witnessed a dramatic batting collapse while chasing a modest 212 for victory.
But the right-hander from Mumbai was disappointed to have failed to finish off the match as he departed with India precariously placed at 201 for 9, leaving the task to the last-wicket pair of Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron.
"I was a little disappointed for not finishing the game. Winning the game is more important than scoring in a losing cause. I never want to do stuff like this again," Sharma said on the eve of the second ODI against the West Indies here on Friday.
"Leaving 10 runs for the bowlers to finish the game is always difficult. I will make sure it does not happen again," he insisted.
Sharma, however, was satisfied that his half-century came in a winning cause for India.
"It was a close game no doubt. But it does not matter as we have won the game that is more important," he said.
He said his gameplan in the last match was to build partnerships after India were reduced to 59 for 5 at one stage.
"It was not an easy situation to be in. They were bowling well. We wanted a partnership and when (Ravindra) Jadeja came in, we just spoke about building small partnerships", he said.
"We (me and Jadeja) shared about 80-90 runs, which was really crucial. When Jadeja got out, we needed one more small partnership (with R Vinay Kumar). With dew, we knew it was not going to be easy for the bowlers. We just decided on building partnerships and did well on that factor," Sharma said.
In the absence of senior players like Zaheer Khan and Praveen Kumar, the inexperienced pace trio of Vinay, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron did an impressive job by restricting the visitors to 211 for 9, and Sharma said it augurs well for Indian cricket.
"I was watching highlights and I saw (commentator) Ravi Shastri talking about Varun and Umesh very highly. It's good to see two fast bowlers bowling in tandem for so long. They have been bowling fast and quick," he said.
"I hope there is great future ahead of them. I hope to see them taking wickets and give us early breakthroughs that will set the momentum for us."
Incidentally, the win in Cuttack was India's 10th on the trot on home soil and Sharma said the hosts would like to carry on the winning streak.
"Coming back to this game, we need to continue with the momentum, we just need to carry on. We have been preparing well. We just want to go out there and enjoy and keep winning the matches," Sharma said.
Sharma also wanted to win the second ODI against the visitors not only for the team but also for his mother, who hails from the port city.
Visakhapatnam being his mother's home town, Sharma said a win on Friday would be a perfect gift for her on a ground where he has often performed well.
"Of course that (win in second ODI) will be a gift (for her)," Sharma said.
"Vizag has been always good for us. It's always been a belter of track as far as my knowledge goes. I've done really well whenever I've played here. Against Australia, we chased down 290 with six wickets intact," he said.
The city has always been a happy hunting ground for the Indians who have a 100 per cent record here, winning all the three matches they have played here so far.
"The wicket here is batsmen-friendly. We will try to keep that record intact. We want to focus on our preparation and we have to take it from there. We don't want to think too far ahead," Sharma said.