Rating the Indian Players at Kerala Blasters After Round 1 of the 2018/19 ISL

Kerala Blasters have had a pretty decent start to the new Indian Super League season. The South-Indian club, coached by David James have played two games in the tournament and are still unbeaten.


With one draw and one win to their name, Kerala are in third position on the ISL table, behind FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC only on number of goals scored.


With the team looking well drilled to make it to the final stages of the competition, we take a look and rate the eight Indian players who have played for Kerala Blasters in the season up till now...

8. Lalruatthara - 6

Lalruatthara was signed by Kerala Blasters after his impressive spell with Aizawl FC where he was part of the I-League winning side in 2017.


The Mizoram born defender managed 85 tackles in ISL's 2017-18 season, the most by any Indian player. Lalruatthara also won the Emerging player of the tournament award in the last campaign.


This season, the 23-year-old star has featured in two games for Kerala Blasters wherein he made nine tackles, four interceptions, four clearances and one crucial block with a passing accuracy of 76.92%, which is quite impressive.

7. Halicharan Narzary - 6

Assamese footballer Halicharan Narzary is making a name for himself in the Indian Super League this season. 


The 24-year-old midfielder has featured in two games for Kerala Blasters this season and has scored a goal as well as provided an assist for David James' side.


Narzary almost earned Kerala all three points against Mumbai City FC with his strike in the 24th minute of the game.


Although his pass completion rate can be improved upon, Narzary has displayed his overall footballing talent in midfield as he has made seven tackles, two clearances and one crucial block for Kerala in defence.

6. CK Vineeth - 6

Kannur born attacking midfielder CK Vineeth has undoubtedly been one of the biggest Indian stars in the Indian Super League.


After scoring four goals in 14 matches last season, David James has given Vineeth limited time on the pitch in this campaign. The 30-year-old has just played 66 minutes in two games in the tournament this season.


However, in those 66 minutes, he has shown that his performance and dedication levels are at it's very peak.

5. Sahal Abdul Samad - 7

After two games in the Indian Super League this season, Sahal Abdul Samad has clocked more minutes (116) for Kerala Blasters than he managed for the whole of last season (22). 
 

The 21-year-old midfielder from Kannur in Kerala is one of coach David James' favourite young players in the squad. Samad's dynamic approach to the game makes him a pretty lethal option for James in tricky games.

4. Seiminlen Doungel - 7

Manipur born Seiminlen Doungel also called 'Len' joined Kerala Blasters this season from NorthEast United.


The 24-year-old midfielder has already featured in two games for David James' side and has provided one assist for his team's goal.


With 125 minutes of the ISL season already under his belt, more opportunities for Doungel could see him come up with incredible performances for the Blasters.

 

3. Dheeraj Singh - 8

India's top young goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem has already impressed David James with his talent. This led to the 18-year-old star to gain a starting spot in both of Kerala Blasters' ISL games this season.


In a total of 180 minutes, Dheeraj conceded just one goal and made six saves. He also kept one clean sheet and involved himself in Kerala's build up play with a passing percentage of 61.11%, quite impressive for a goalkeeper.

2. Mohamad Rakip - 9

After his experience of training under the Indian U-17 coach Luis Norton de Matos, Kerala Blasters came calling for Mohamad Rakip after the World Cup in India came to an end.


Although he didn’t play for the Blasters in ISL 2017-18, coach David James trusted him and gave him a start against Girona FC in the Toyota Yaris La Liga World pre-season tournament in Kochi.


Overall, Rakip has made two appearances for Kerala Blasters this season where he lasted 90 minutes in both games. He made nine tackles, two interceptions, nine clearances and 73 passes with a passing accuracy of 72.6%.

1. Sandesh Jhingan - 9

Captain of Kerala Blasters, Sandesh Jhingan holds the accolade of the most number of matches played by an Indian footballer in the Indian Super League.


The 25-year-old two time ISL runner-up has been in mercurial form this season. Jhingan has made six tackles, two interceptions, 17 clearances and two crucial blocks in defence for Kerala Blasters. He is one of David James' most favoured players.