ISL 2019-20: Best Indian XI of the season

At the end of the latest edition of the Indian Super League season, we take our picks for the Indian XI of the season.

Prabir Das was among the consistent Indian players this ISL season.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

With the curtains drawn on the sixth edition of the Indian Super League season, the microscope is on how the Indian players have risen to the challenge. Several consistent performers from previous seasons struggled for form this year, while some new faces established themselves as key figures in their sides.

Here are the domestic players who make the cut in Sportstar's Indian team XI of the season, arranged in a 3-5-2 formation, which was successfully employed by the new ISL champion ATK.

Goalkeeper: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC)

The Bengaluru shot-stopper made it two back-to-back golden glove awards having kept 11 clean sheets this season. His saves to deny Jamshedpur FC early on in the season and the penalty save against Hyderabad FC showed why he is still India's No. 1. Gurpreet made 49 saves for the Blues, which held the record for the best defence in the league.

READ | Hernandez heroics steer ATK to historic third ISL title

Right centre-back: Seriton Fernandes (FC Goa)

Seriton continues to impress since his move to FC Goa in 2017. In an attacking system, he provides the width on the right flank to latch on to passes on the overlap. However, in this Indian XI, Seriton will have to contend with a place as the right centre-back. He also has attempted the fourth-most tackles in the league, showing his value as a defender.

Centre-back: Pritam Kotal (ATK)

ATK lost three senior centre-backs half-way through the season and struggled to have consistency in the three-man central defence. But Pritam was an ever-present featuring in all 21 games this season. He is a natural leader at the back and played a crucial role in helping keep nine clean sheets this season.

Left centre-back: Sumit Rathi (ATK)

The promising 18-year-old put in a backs-to-the-wall defensive display in what was the biggest match of his career in the Indian Super League final against Chennaiyin FC. An athletic defender, Rathi made the step up from ATK's reserve side this season and was entrusted by Antonio Habas to fill in the left centre-back role. He played 14 matches in his debut campaign.

Right wing-back: Prabir Das (ATK)

After an injury ruled him out of the whole of last season, the right-back had a big role to play in ATK's third ISL triumph. Deployed as a wing-back in the 3-5-2 system, Prabir excelled with his energetic displays both in defence and attack. He racked up five assists which were the joint-highest for a defender. In the first minute of the final, the 26-year-old headed the ball off the line from a shot from Chennaiyin's Rafael Crivellaro.

Right central midfielder: Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin FC)

Thapa continues to progress at a rapid pace as a leader in the centre of the park for Chennaiyin. Part of an all-Indian central midfield, the 22-year-old has displayed maturity to add to his industry both on and off the ball. He also set up five goals and scored a stunning strike in the semifinal win over Goa.

Defensive midfielder: Lenny Rodrigues (FC Goa)

Often an unsung hero in the FC Goa line-up filled with skillful attacking players, Rodrigues is a calming influence in the middle of the park. He plays the perfect foil to Ahmed Jahouh in central midfield with his reading of the game and distribution of the ball.

Left central midfielder: Brandon Fernandes (FC Goa)

When Goa was struggling with injuries and suspensions in the first half of the season, Brandon stepped up as the creative force in the team. He has the most assists (6) in the league for an Indian player and his ability from the dead ball situations make him among the most valuable players in the league. He also doesn't shy away from his defensive duties having attempted 79 tackles.

Left wing-back: Jessel Carneiro (Kerala Blasters)

Among the few impressive players for the Blasters this season, the 29-year-old Jessel impressed in what was his maiden ISL appearance. The left-back was a constant attacking threat down the flanks and helped set up five assists, joint-highest in the league.

READ | Lallianzuala Chhangte - Goals, misses and everything in between

Striker: Lallianzuala Chhangte (Chennaiyin FC)

Chhangte had his best season yet in his fledgling career. After no goals from the first seven matches of the season, the 22-year-old left-winger scored seven goals, with six of them coming in the last eight matches under Owen Coyle. He also scored in both legs of the semifinals against league-topper FC Goa to help Chennaiyin progress to the final.  

Striker: Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)

The veteran striker still remains the country's leading striker. In a season in which Bengaluru FC struggled to score goals freely, its skipper struck nine goals. His end to the season was marred by injury as the defending champion exited the competition in the semifinal stage.

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