Interview with Mohd Amir Khan: "Want to improve my scoring skills"
Mohammad Amir Khan is an exciting young prospect in the Indian men’s hockey team. The 22-year-old Allahabad boy impressed many during the 2015 India-Australia Test series as well as the in Hockey World League Final Round in Raipur.
Amir, who made his senior international debut at the 2009 India-Canada Test series, is now turning out for Ranchi Rays in the Coal India Hockey India League, having played two seasons for Kalinga Lancers.
The soft-spoken youngster, who is a product of Sports Authority of India (SAI) Lucknow Sub-centre, spoke about his game in an exclusive interview.
Q. How has been the 2016 Hockey India League experience so far?
It’s been pretty good so far. This is my first time that I am playing for Ranchi Rays – I had played two seasons for Kalinga Lancers.
Q. Ranchi Rays comprise a slew of talented players in its ranks - both from India and overseas. Surely you stint must be a huge learning curve for you.
There is so much to learn, be it in training or during match play. Rays have so many good players from England and Australia as well as many solid players from India. Under coach Harendra Singh Sir, it has been a big learning curve for me.
Q. Not many know that you made your senior international debut as a 16-year-old many years back during the 2009 India-Canada Test series.
It’s not always that a player makes a senior debut at the age of 16 without playing for the junior side. I have fond memories of the Canada Test series as I scored my maiden international goal in that series.
Q. You marked your return to the national side during the 2015 European Tour after a gap of six years.
It was a good feeling to make a comeback as I felt at times that time was running out for me. I was part of national camps but my inconsistent performance was hindrance to my comeback to the Indian team. I scored against France in our 4-1 win.
Q. You were dropped for the New Zealand Test series and only played in the Australia Test series and Hockey World League Final Round as a last minute replacement for Lalit Upadhyay.
It was a big opportunity for me – I tried to give my best for my team. Hopefully I will get better.
Q. As a forward what are the areas do you think you need to work on?
Learning never stops and among many I feel I need to improve my scoring. It is good to contribute in the forward line by creating chances but scoring goals gives any player a lot of confidence and I’m no different. I want to work on scoring more goals in future.
Q. You hail from Allahabad – a city that also features current Indian player Danish Mujtaba.
Danish bhai is senior to me and is like my friend and guide. Both of us are products of Sports Authority of India (SAI) Lucknow Sub-centre and hail from Allahabad.
Q. Who is your favourite striker?
Jamie Dwyer and Dhanraj Pillay – both are terrific with their speed and other abilities that make them so special. They have a big influence in the forward line.
Q. How do you unwind when you are not playing hockey?
I like to play tennis whenever I am at Allahabad. I have passion for tennis and like to play the sport during my free time.