Hero ISL 2021-22 in numbers: Greater Indian participation translated into more goal involvement for Indian players

In the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), apart from the big winners and losers, there is great emphasis on the performance of the Indian players.

Thus it was evident that when the league decided to cut down the maximum number of foreign players per team on the pitch ahead of Hero ISL 2021-22 season, all the eyeballs were on how the teams performed with an extra Indian player on the field.

The result was great as we witnessed one of the most entertaining and closely fought campaigns in the Hero ISL as a record number of goals were scored.

Read: Hero ISL 2021-22 in numbers: More goals and goalscorers, higher passing accuracy headline entertaining season

But what was even more heartening to see is how Indian players stepped up to the plate and contributed largely to the attacking endeavours of their respective teams.

Indian players scored more goals this season than any other season before. Even though there was an extra Indian on the pitch for each team this season, the numbers showed that head coaches were willing to trust Indian players in attack and a lot of the Indian attackers repaid the faith shown in them by their bosses.

It may not be the most prolific season for Indians in terms of goals per game but Hero ISL 2021-22 saw the second-best goalscoring contribution by Indian players.

Season

Goals by Foreign Players

Goals by Indian Players

Indian Player %

Average Age (Indian Scorers)

2014

100

27

21.26%

25.85

2015

135

48

26.23%

26.05

2016

109

34

23.78%

25.67

2017-18

181

75

28.73%

25.62

2018-19

158

89

35.03%

24.5

2019-20

214

72

24.49%

24.84

2020-21

212

75

25.17%

23.93

2021-22

221

120

33.8%

24.48

However, Indian players’ involvement in attacking moves was more than ever this season and that is evident from sharp increase in assists provided by the local stars.

In Hero ISL 2021-22, Indians produced their best-ever assist tally and for the first time saw that number go past the 100-mark. If you look at the percentage, almost half of the goals scored this season were assisted by an Indian player.

Season

Assists by Foreign Players

Assists by Indian Players

Indian Player %

Average Age (Indian Assisters)

2014

45

31

40.79%

24.95

2015

96

45

31.91%

26.37

2016

85

29

25.44%

25.36

2017-18

96

72

42.85%

24.71

2018-19

100

72

41.86%

25.09

2019-20

116

83

41.70%

24.02

2020-21

113

84

42.63%

25.77

2021-22

113

107

48.63%

25.09

Indian players also took significantly more shots than in the past seasons showing their involvement in attack as much as the other areas of the pitch.

Season Shots by Foreign Players Shots by Indian Players Indian Player %

2014

1001

510

33.75%

2015

1041

485

31.78%

2016

882

293

24.93%

2017-18

1228

743

37.69%

2018-19

1400

946

40.32%

2019-20

1419

901

38.83%

2020-21

1664

1099

39.77%

2021-22

1601

1431

47.21%

Indian men’s national team head coach’s squad selection for the recently-concluded international friendlies further rubber-stamped the improvement Indian players have shown this season in attack. The likes of Suhair VP, Roshan Singh Naorem, Aniket Jadhav, and Danish Farooq, all received India call-ups for the first time after useful contributions for their respective Hero ISL sides.

The likes of Manvir Singh, Liston Colaco, Bipin Singh, and Yasir Mohammed who delivered in front of goal once again retained their places in the Indian national team.

With one season under their belt with the new foreign player rule, expect Hero ISL teams to improve further next season with Indian contribution in attack only expected to increase in the future.

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