Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In the ongoing FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023, India’s defence has been bolstered to a great extent, thanks to the fearless approach of the defenders and most importantly the first rusher and deputy skipper of the team, Amit Rohidas.

Even coach Graham Reid was effusive in his praise for the Indian team’s defence. India has so far not conceded a single goal in the tournament. The defenders of the team have been successful in countering the relentless attack by strong opponents like England and France.

Odia star Rohidas is one of the vital cogs of the Indian defence. Though International Hockey Federation (FIH) is considering changes in penalty corner drag-flicks rules in view of safety issues, Rohidas is not at all concerned about the risk involved as the first rusher of the team. According to him, he has no fear of being hit by a heavy ball with dangerous shots.

Recently, FIH president Tayyab Ikram said in Rourkela that the world hockey governing body is doing a study on tweaking the rules related to penalty corner hits to provide more safety to defending players.

However, the fearless first rusher of the Indian team Rohidas said that he is not aware of what the FIH president said. 
“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. Whenever the team wants, I can be the first rusher. I have no issues,” said Rohidas.

“For me, there is not much risk being the first rusher. We have all the equipment of protection for the first rusher like the knee guard, hand gloves, etc. So, there is not much of a problem,” the 29-year-old defender added.