The Indian national team registered a morale boosting 4-1 win over Thailand on Sunday evening in their Group A opener of the Asian Cup 2019. India currently top the Group A standings with three points leaving the likes of UAE, Bahrain and Thailand in their wake.
While the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Anirudh Thapa and Jeje Lalpekhlua won all the plaudits for their goals alongside the impressive performance from Ashique Kuruniyan, the defensive work also needs to be highlighted.
In fact, Teerasil Dangda's goal in the 33rd minute against Thailand was the first leaked in by India when the likes of Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika and Subhasish Bose have started.
In the five matches they have started in defence, the Blue Tigers are yet to concede a goal from open play – such has been the defensive organization of the current Indian setup.
In the Intercontinental Cup held in Mumbai last year, Stephen Constantine handed Bose his India debut against Chinese Taipei which they won 5-0. Thereafter, he continued with the same back four against Kenya in the group stage 3-0 win and the final where they triumphed 2-0.
Also in the international friendly against Oman in December, the same back four were handed a start and India managed to keep a clean-sheet.
Constantine has certainly revitalized the Indian defence completely, having handed debuts to Kotal and Jhingan in March 2015 against Nepal while Anas played his first India game in Cambodia on March 22, 2017.