The Indian Super League (ISL) has served as a platform for a lot of Indian players to rub shoulders with their foreign counterparts and polish their skills. Over time, the players have got better and this has helped the Indian National Football Team immensely.
The Blue Tigers will square off against Oman and UAE on 25th and 29th March respectively to get their international campaign back on track. India head coach Igor Stimac has announced a 35-member probable squad for the two friendly matches.
In this article, we rank the 11 ISL clubs by the number of Indian National Football Team players in the probable list.
Odisha FC are the only ISL club to not have a single player. One does feel bad for the likes of Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Vinit Rai, and Shubham Sarangi who got a call in March 2020, but the camp was dissolved due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sarthak Golui, who joined SC East Bengal in the January transfer window, is the only player to feature on Igor Stimac's list. Their head coach Robbie Fowler has previously claimed that the Indian players in his squad lack the quality to play in the ISL and only one selection corroborates it.
Farukh Choudhary is the only Jamshedpur FC player to find his name on the probable list for Oman and UAE friendlies. The team relied mainly on foreign players like Nerijus Valskis, Stephen Eze, and Aitor Monroy and finished sixth on the ISL points table.
Jeakson Singh and Rahul KP are Kerala Blasters' two representatives. The two 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup players were the only shining prospect in a lackluster ISL campaign for the Yellow Army. Sahal Abdul Samad missed out due to an injury he sustained.
Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper Vishal Kaith, midfielder Anirudh Thapa and winger Lallianzuala Chhangte are the three players who have received a call up. Although Thapa and Chhangte have delivered subdued performances this season, they have still managed to retain their position courtesy of their heroics in the past.
FC Goa's Seriton Fernandes and Ishan Pandita are the two players who got their maiden call-up to the Indian National Football team. Adil Khan will be eager to partner with Sandesh Jhingan at the back. The likes of Saviour Gama and Alexander Romario Jesuraj missed out due to cut-throat competition.
Ashutosh Mehta, Mashoor Shereef, and Lalengmawia are the three Northeast United FC players getting their first call. Their goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury has also made the cut but it remains to be seen whether he will get a chance to play a match.
After recovering from his previous injuries, Sandesh Jhingan has found his name back among India's probable list. The Bengali duo of Pritam Kotal and Prabir Das will fight for a place in the right-back position.
Manvir Singh has scored five goals and bagged three assists this season and will be eager to transcend his goalscoring form into the Indian National Football Team.
Bengaluru FC are known for supplying prolific Indian National Football Team players in the past. The former ISL champions have continued their tradition by contributing five players - Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, and Suresh Wangjam.
While the remaining four players are at the top of their form, Udanta's inclusion raises some question marks as he has been out of form for the last two seasons.
The ISL League Winners Shield has produced five players for the Indian National Football Team this time. Their goalkeeper Amrinder Singh has made 51 saves and kept 9 clean sheets.
Mumbai City FC midfielders Raynier Fernandes and Rowllin Borges are known for their close control and will bring solidarity to Igor Stimac's side.
Bipin Singh has been a standout performer on the left-wing. He will be eager to bring his combination play with left-back Mandar Rao Dessai to the Indian National Football Team.
Hyderabad FC have produced the highest number of players for the Indian National Football Team this time. Their right-back Asish Rai was also in contention but ultimately missed out due to an injury.
While Akash Mishra, Mohammed Yasir, and Liston Colaco have received their maiden call-ups, Halicharan Narzary, Hitesh Sharma, and Chinglensana Singh will make a return to the Indian National Football Team.