The Blue Tigers will kick-start their camp in Kolkata on August 15.
The Indian football team are gearing for their preparatory camp ahead of the International Friendlies in September. The Blue Tigers will kick-start their camp in Kolkata on August 15. Ahead of the camp, Igor Stimac released his probables’ list and one can observe that he has followed his usual trend of handing national team call-ups to new domestic players.
However, despite calling up fresh faces to the national team camp, he did miss out on some of the names who had a breakthrough domestic campaign. In this article, Khel Now takes a look at five players who were left out by the Croatian tactician ahead of the upcoming games:
5. Amey Ranawade
Amey was a part of Sergio Lobera’s FC Goa, but hardly got any game-time. But, the tables turned for him when he followed his coach and signed for Mumbai City last season. He broke into the starting XI and went on to make 20 appearances in a fairy-tale season for the Islanders.
Ranawade was not Lobera’s first choice right-back, but a dip in Mohamad Rakip’s form earned him a chance to prove his worth and there was no looking back. Amey is well-known for his confident nature with the ball and pinpoint crossing ability. And his exclusion from the Indian football team camp was noticeable, as he put in a title-winning performance for the Islanders.
4. Jerry Mawihmingthanga
Jerry’s exclusion from the camp yet again raised a lot of voices against Stimac, given how the Blue Tigers have often struggled to get quality deliveries into the final third. Odisha FC had a season to forget, but the winger had an extraordinary individual campaign.
His swift, creative and energetic traits have helped him to rack up his numbers. Last season, Jerry played 17 games and made seven goal contributions (two goals and five assists). He made his presence felt in the defensive half too. In 17 matches, he recorded 40 tackles, 19 interceptions, three clearances and 14 blocks. Not picking the highest Indian assist-provider doesn’t sound like a wise move by Stimac, but only time will tell.
3. VP Suhair
VP Suhair’s inclusion in the Highlanders squad seemed like an ordinary move under Gerard Nus, but turned out to be a blessing under Jamil. He’s proper team man and supported his teammates on either side of the pitch. Suhair is more than a typical forward and therefore has a slightly mediocre goalscoring record.
But, don’t let those numbers fool you. Suhair’s tireless work-rate helped him finish his debut ISL season with three goals, one assist, 64 tackles, 21 interceptions, 12 clearances and 25 blocks. The 29-year-old did the dirty work in such a bright fashion that he ended the season without any bookings.
2. Bidhyashagar Singh
Although Igor Stimac has not been very receptive to the idea of calling up I-League players to the Indian football team, he should have considered Bidyashagar Singh. Singh became the first outright Indian top scorer in the league’s history, which won him the ‘Hero of the League’ award last season. He scored 12 goals, which also comprised of two back-to-back hat-tricks.
The young gun is a versatile forward and can play on either flank. He is probably enjoying the best form of his career, having recently earned a move to Bengaluru FC. A national team call-up will be the perfect icing on the cake. It’s high time that Stimac opens the national team door for the I-league because stars like Bidyashagar are on the rise.
1. Rowllin Borges
The most shocking name on the list has to be Rowllin Borges. Borges has arguably been India’s best holding midfielder in recent times. And his exclusion from the camp has already sent shockwaves through the Indian football circuit.
Borges’ IQ level hits 200 every time he is on the pitch. He is an attack-minded holding midfielder, who is not shy to initiate bombing runs. His pinpoint passing accuracy and phenomenal vision are what stands out in his gameplay. One possibility is that Rowllin has still not recovered from the injury he suffered during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers.