I-League 2018-19: Best Indian XI so far
Amid the hype and hoopla surrounding the Indian Super League, the premier league of the country – I-League has been pushed to the backbench for the last couple of years. With the ISL getting the prime time on television. many don’t even know that a parallel league is going on too!
After the departure of Bengaluru FC, the shine of I-League has faded. But there is some interest left as both Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are yet to jump ships into the ISL. Apart from them, there’s one more point of interest this time, the introduction of Real Kashmir.
Being the first team from the war-torn area, Real Kashmir has already generated many fans outside its periphery. People are watching their games on television with great interest. Even foreign media came to Srinagar to witness the journey of Real Kashmir.
As many as 29 matches have already been played in this campaign and 77 goals have been scored. Chennai City are leading the chart with Indian Arrows, the youngest squad this year reeling at the bottom.
It may be the second tier league, but some new and exciting talents have already emerged along with the old horses. In this article, we have picked 11 of them who will play in 4-4-2 formation. Due to the team capacity, we have to leave out some players but they will definitely get a place in the squad of eighteen.
Honourable mentions: Rakshit Dagar, Arijit Bagui, Abhishek Das, Albert Zohmingmawia, Pintu Mahata, Rahul Kannoly and Danish Farooq.
Bilal Khan (Real Kashmir FC)
Real Kashmir made their debut in this season’s I-League and along with other unknown players, goalkeeper Bilal Khan also made a name for himself. Bilal hails from Khurja in Uttar Pradesh and has played for Gokulam Kerala last season.
Real Kashmir have conceded only three goals this season, which is the least among 11 teams. One of the main reasons for this is the excellent performance of Bilal. On an average, he pulled two or three brilliant saves in every match. He is tall and that is an advantage for a goalkeeper. Moreover, he has good reflexes and can dive both sides at will.
Against Mohun Bagan, he saved a shot from goal line which earned praise from the supporters. He also impressed in their very first match against Minerva Punjab. Among the Indian goalkeepers, he’s surely ahead of everyone right now.