It was in 1995 when a young Dilip Tirkey entered the hockey arena at the highest level. India were playing against England in the game and Tirkey was given an opportunity to showcase his talent at the biggest platform. The rest as they say is history as the players not only turned out to be one of the best defenders the country ever saw but also played a record 412 matches for the nation. Tirkey, who has also been the captain of the national team, played three Olympics (1996 Atalanta, 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens) for India before he could call time on his career in 2010.
Throwback to late 1980s, a term known as ‘drag-flick’ came into the hockey world, and within no time it gained immense popularity considering its weightage in the game. Soon players got their hockey sticks designed in such a way that it supported the slinging action of the shot. Meanwhile, the advancement also saw the defending players acting a bit more fearlessly with the help of protective gear, including shin and knee guards, goggles, mouth guards, etc. Despite all that, the drag-flick is as important a part of the game as any other shot to date.
Talking to SportsTiger in an exclusive interview, former India skipper Dilip Tirkey shared his opinion on the same. The former India defender, who was famous for his penalty corner hit, feels India should have better drag-flick specialists.
Team with better drag-flickers and good conversion rate on PCs becomes champion: Tirkey
The former India player believes that teams with better drag-flickers and good conversion rates on penalty corners have more chances of becoming a champion side.
“…India’s drag-flickers, including Rupinder Pal Singh, have performed well so far. But if you look at the future of Indian hockey we need more drag-flickers. This is because in world hockey, the team that has better drag-flickers and has a good conversion rate on penalty corners becomes champions,” said Tirkey to SportsTiger.
“Drag-flicker has a very important role in the game. We should also look at how can we get better flickers in future,” he added.