With the league stages and first legs of the ISL over, the question which rises on everyone's minds is how much have the Indian national team players developed themselves. After all, the prime purpose of the top tier league in the country is to hone the players who represent the nation.
While a lot of players who weren't national team regulars like Prabir Das, Nishu Kumar, and Nandhakumar Sekar exceeded expectations and made the 43-member cut to Qatar, not everyone who donned the Tigris Vena consistently lived up to the expectations.
Without any further ado, here are the player ratings of Indian national team regulars
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (9/10): India's wall between the sticks was once again unstoppable as he picked up 11 clean sheets, leaking only 11 goals. With an 81% save percentage, Gurpreet was the pillar in defence that paved Bengaluru FC's path to the playoffs, and possibly the final.
Amrinder Singh (7/10): The Mumbai City FC gloveman plays second fiddle to Gurpreet in the national team colours but slightly underperformed this season. The defence wasn't as sturdy as last season and that was visible in Amrinder's performances, who conceded more goals despite facing less number of shots.
Rahul Bheke (7/10): Bheke set high standards for himself this season after he played in all the four positions of defence and scored the all-important header that clinched the ISL title for Bengaluru FC. However, he has been a shadow of his former self this season. The right-back has performed his duties commendably defensively but the attacking verve was lacking in his game.
Anas Edathodika (6/10): Shifting his base to ATK from Kerala Blasters, Anas' move was one of the high-profile transfers that took place in the summer. But, the 33-year-old continued to struggle with his fitness and made only nine appearances for the Kolkata side.
Pritam Kotal (8/10): While praises were showered on the foreign contingent, Pritam was the real unsung hero of ATK. The right-back covered the right side of the back-three and played every minute of their campaign, making a staggering 130 clearances, 68 tackles, 29 interceptions, and 30 blocks.
Adil Khan (6.5/10): Playing out of position as a midfielder for the majority of the season, Adil proved to be less effective. But, he showed promise while being deployed as a centre-back for Hyderabad FC in the last three matches and bagged a multi-year contract.
Subhasish Bose (7/10): Like Amrinder, Subhasish too lost his touch with Mumbai City FC this season. He was no different from his teammates who incessantly fouled the opponents on the pitch. However, he improved his game offensively, putting in more number of crosses.
Mandar Rao Dessai (7.5/10): FC Goa's captain got his deserved national team call-up under Igor Stimac but buckled under pressure thereafter. Mandar's defensive stats have improved considerably but opposition teams have marked him as the one to target on countless occasions.
Pronay Halder (7/10): The defensive midfielder was forced to stay behind for most of the ISL campaign as ATK preferred to play on the counter this time. However, his season was cut short after he suffered an injury. Pronay made a huge impact in the limited time he got.
Anirudh Thapa (9.5/10): After an underwhelming time with Chennaiyin FC in the first half and last season, Thapa turned the tide this time around. One of the clinical aspects of Chennaiyin's game under Owen Coyle has been that they go from the defensive third to the offensive third of the pitch with a single pass.
More often than not, it is the 22-year-old who provides the ball - a new armour he added in his arsenal. With great offensive and defensive statistics to back him up and age at his side, Thapa is sure to be one for the future.
Sahal Abdul Samad (6.5/10): After winning the Emerging Player of the Season in 2019, Sahal struggled to find playing time in Kerala Blasters as head coach Eelco Schattorie played him out of position. Not playing as an attacking midfielder also exposed his defensive vulnerabilities that led to him getting relegated on the bench. Sahal should be deployed more upfront if the best of his abilities have to be used.
Brandon Fernandes (9.5/10): Brandon is as integral to the FC Goa unit as Thapa is to Chennaiyin FC. The Indian international has created the most number of chances this season and backed it up with six assists and two goals. He also has made 74 tackles, allowing the other midfielders to get involved more offensively.
Manvir Singh (7/10): After making 19 appearances mostly from the bench last season, Manvir Singh established himself as a regular starter in the early stages of ISL. Although he found the back of the net twice, the competitiveness in FC Goa meant he was forced back into his earlier role.
Vinit Rai (7/10): Much like Odisha FC, Vinit had an average season. He performed well against the bottom teams but crumbled in high-octane matches. India is seeing stiff competition in the defensive midfield role with youngsters emerging at a rapid rate. The Assamese lad needs to up his game if he want to stay in the hunt for a first-team spot.
Lallianzuala Chhangte (8/10): Similar to Anirudh Thapa, Chhangte too was a catalyst in Chennaiyin FC's revival. His combination with the foreign players up front saw him taking 39 shots, which resulted in six goals. The Mizo youngster is equally impressive with his crosses, curling the ball 45 times in 19 matches.
Ashique Kuruniyan (5/10): Making the move from now-defunct FC Pune City, Ashique had heavy expectations on his shoulders. Many expected him to use his pace to threaten the opposition defence on the wings. But, head coach Carles Cuadrat used him in the left-back position and his defensive naivety led to the side conceding a couple of goals. Offensively, he proved to be slightly ineffective as registered only has one assist in nearly 1200 minutes he played.
Udanta Singh (6/10): Another Bengaluru FC winger who flopped big time was Udanta Singh. The youngster's moves were very predictable, which resulted in only one goal throughout the season. However, he improved his defensive showing, which is evident from 37 tackles, 13 interceptions, and 12 blocks.
Sunil Chhetri (9/10): With Udanta and Ashique falling short of their mark, Chhetri truly led Bengaluru FC from the front. The skipper scored nine goals in the tournament and is the only Indian to feature in the top 10 goalscorers' list. With nobody able to readily replace him yet, he has raised the bar once again.Published 03 Mar 2020, 18:00 IST