2023 FIH Men's Hockey World Cup | Amit Rohidas not afraid to be hit by high speed drag flicks
In light of safety concerns, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) may amend the rules regarding penalty corner drag-flicks, but India's first rusher Amit Rohidas is unconcerned about the risk involved and claims he has no fear of getting struck by the puck.
FIH president Tayyab Ikram stated a few days ago in Rourkela, the co-host city of the World Cup, that the international organisation was researching how to change the regulations governing penalty corner hits to increase the safety of defensive players as the high-speed ball moves through a packed area.
However, Ikram had made it obvious that the FIH had no plans to slow down the ball's pace after the flick. In order to give rushers more time to react, he said that the attacking team should have one or two additional touches before the ball reaches the circle.
When questioned about the potential rule changes, Rohidas responded, "I am not aware of what the FIH president said. But I have no fear of being hit by the ball. It has never come to my mind in the matches I have played so far.”
"I have been one of the first rushers in the Indian team. Whatever and whenever the team wants, I can be the first rusher. I have no issues," the 29-year-old defender told PTI.
In the three penalty corners that Spain took in the opening game at the brand-new Birsa Munda Stadium in Rourkela, Rohidas was one of the first Indian rushers. India won the game 2-0 without allowing a single goal from the PCs. One of the goal scorers was Rohidas, who slammed the ball home off the rebound following a penalty corner opportunity.
India played admirably well in the 0-0 draw with England on Sunday, stopping eight penalty corners without giving up a goal while midfielder and veteran player Manpreet Singh was usually the first rusher. The other first rusher in that game was Rohidas.
"For me. there is not much risk (being the first rusher). We have all the equipments of protection for the first rusher, like the knee guard, hand glove, etc. So, there is not much of a problem," explained Rohidas, who has participated in 133 games for the senior Indian team.
In the past two games, India had to play the final few minutes with one man down owing to cards, and Rohidas claimed the squad has been preparing hard on how to handle such a circumstance.
"It is not that we are getting cards just now. We have got cards in tournaments earlier also. We have worked a lot on this, on how we play in such a situation and the structure we will play etc."
In their last Pool D encounter on Thursday at the Kalinga Stadium in this city, he stated that India will try to score as many goals as they could against Wales.
"It's an important match and we want to finish on top of Pool D. So, we will try to score a lot more goals," added Rohidas, a resident of the hamlet of Saunamara in Odisha's Sundargarh district, which has produced more than 60 professional athletes from throughout the world.
"But we will not take pressure and will play our normal game. Goals will come with that. We had played well against England and so we are confident. We will analyse video footage of Wales and plan accordingly."