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Goal.com writers select their Best Indian playing XI from I-League performances in 2011-12 and then present to the readers a combined XI...

After a thrilling season of 2011-12 I-League which reached its conclusion a week ago culminated in Dempo claiming the title. Goal.com has analysed the displays of the Indian stars playing for all the 14 teams in India's Top Tier football competition and brings to you the Top Indian I-League XI.

We have already presented to you the complete I-League Top XI for the season and now we present to you our Indian XI of the season as well as differing opinions from our various in-house experts.

The position of the goalkeeper is perhaps the only bastion where the legions of foreign players have not invaded yet in India. While Subrata Paul was injured for most of the season, Karanjit Singh made the most of the opportunity as with his brilliant showing for his country as India No. 1 which added oodles of confidence in him to thereafter shine in the I-League leading Salgaocar to concede a league lowest of 19 goals. Elsewhere Abhra Mondal, the East Bengal third choice goalkeeper, shone during his short loan stint with Pune FC where he was primarily responsible for Pune going on an 11 match unbeaten run, but injuries cut short his game time. Rightfully Karanjit is the goalkeeper for the XI for his consistent performances throughout the campaign.

When it comes to central defense, among the two central defenders Mahesh Gawli stands tall among others and unquestionably finds his way into our XI, without so much as a second glance needed as under him Dempo were rock solid and had conceded only a measly 21 goals. His partner is the dependable Khelemba Meetei who too had an outstanding season with former champions Salgaocar as their backline was an impenetrable wall in front of opposition attackers.

The two full back positions are taken by Nicolau Colaco on the right as he has provided width for Salgaocar time and again in attack while being solid defensively. Meanwhile at left back Syed Rahim Nabi has been outstanding in an otherwise porous Mohun Bagan backline with his ability to go up and down the pitch tirelessly leading to his inclusion, but for his consistency Gurjinder Kumar of Pune FC gets the nod.

The right wing slot is an easy pick as Clifford Miranda finds his way into our XI on the back of his solid showing with the champions as not only did he provide the width and put in cross after cross into the box for Ranti to feast on, they also chipped in with important goals at crucial times. On the left we pick FPAI Fans' Player of the Year winner Francis Fernandes who had a brilliant season with Salgaocar.

Meanwhile for the two central midfield positions its a fight between Jewel Raja of Mohun Bagan, Rocus Lamare of Salgaocar and Lalrindika Ralte of Churchill Brothers. Rocus Lamare and Lalrindika Ralte are the eventual winners for the two spots as they complement each other brilliantly. While Rocus likes to sit back and do the dirty work in the midfield, Ralte loves going forward and joining the attack due to which he has six goals for his club. What also goes against Jewel is that he has most often been used as a wide player in Mohun Bagan's current campaign and he did have a lean phase when the Mariners were finding results hard to come by.

Indian strikers are usually nowhere when it comes to I-League's goalscoring charts. However this season with Air India and Chirag Kerala besides the AIFF developmental team, Pailan Arrows depending on Indians upfront, we do have a few players to choose from. Although CS Sabeeth and CK Vineeth lead the goalscoring charts with 9 a piece, it was only a late flourish of goals that saw them reach this figure. We pick the consistent Manandeep Singh who led the Air India front line with gusto as one of our strikers. He has also scored an impressive 7 goals for his club. Partnering him upfront is the sublime Subash Singh who has tons of pace to burn and an impressive eye for goal that saw him rake up 7 goals too.

The team lines up in a standard 4-4-2 formation with Rocus lying deep and Ralte being the de facto playmaker while both having the ability to exchange roles when needed

KARANJIT SINGH

SALGAOCAR


NICOLAU COLACO
KHELEMBA MEETEI
MAHESH GAWLI
GURJINDER KUMAR

SALGAOCAR

SALGAOCAR

DEMPO

PUNE FC


FRANCIS FERNANDES
ROCUS LAMARE
LALRINDIKA RALTE
CLIFFORD MIRANDA

SALGAOCAR

SALGAOCAR

CHURCHILL BROTHERS

DEMPO


MANANDEEP SINGH
SUBASH SINGH

AIR INDIA

PUNE FC

We now take individual opinions from our writers and see what they have got to say...

ANSELM NORONHA'S XI
KARANJIT SINGH

SALGAOCAR


NICOLAU COLACO
KHELEMBA MEETEI
MAHESH GAWLI
SYED RAHIM NABI

SALGAOCAR

SALGAOCAR

DEMPO

MOHUN BAGAN


FRANCIS FERNANDES
ROCUS LAMARE
LALRINDIKA RALTE
CLIFFORD MIRANDA

SALGAOCAR

SALGAOCAR

CHURCHILL BROTHERS

DEMPO


MANANDEEP SINGH
CS SABEETH

AIR INDIA

PAILAN ARROWS

Anselm has Syed Rahim Nabi in place of Gurjinder Kumar at left back as he believes that the India international adds solidity to the team as he can go up the field and track back with equal intensity.

He also pairs CS Sabeeth with Manandeep up front as he believes the former had managed to shine inspite of being in a side like Pailan Arrows wherein he was shorn of any creative service from the midfield.

The left wing is occupied by Clifford Miranda, who seems to be an unanimous choice for his top displays with Dempo.


AYUSH SRIVASTAVA'S XI


KARANJIT SINGH

SALGAOCAR


NICOLAU COLACO
ANAS EDATHODIKA
MAHESH GAWLI
GURJINDER KUMAR

SALGAOCAR

PUNE FC

DEMPO

PUNE FC


FRANCIS FERNANDES
ROCUS LAMARE
JEWEL RAJA
CLIFFORD MIRANDA

SALGAOCAR

SALGAOCAR

MOHUN BAGAN

DEMPO


MANANDEEP SINGH
SUBASH SINGH

AIR INDIA

PUNE FC


Ayush prefers Jewel in midfield for his sheer energy that he brings to the game as he works tirelessly.

However he sticks with the Goal.com wingers Francis and Clifford to give his team the necessary width.

In defense he prefers Anas Edathodika, who has been the rock in the back for the Pune FC defense, to partner the experienced Mahesh Gawli.


KAUSTAV BERA'S XI

ABHRA MONDAL

PUNE FC


NICOLAU COLACO
KHELEMBA MEETEI
MAHESH GAWLI
GURJINDER KUMAR

SALGAOCAR

SALGAOCAR

DEMPO

PUNE FC


ANTHONY PEREIRA
ROCUS LAMARE
LALRINDIKA RALTE
CLIFFORD MIRANDA

DEMPO

SALGAOCAR

CHURCHILL BROTHERS

DEMPO


MANANDEEP SINGH
SUBASH SINGH

AIR INDIA

PUNE FC


Kaustav meanwhile goes with Abhra Mondal as his goalkeeper as he thinks that the on-loan Pune FC keeper had an outstanding run of 11 games before his injury setback where Pune went 11 games unbeaten.

He also picks Anthony Pereira ahead of Francis as he believes Anthony had a tremendous season with Dempo and all the damage from the right wing was his doing.

He sticks with the Ralte-Rocus combo in midfield though with Rocus holding fort while the latter goes on the prowl.


Do YOU agree with our Indian XI of the season?Whom did we miss out? Have your say by commenting below....



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