Indian cricket team skipper Rohit Sharma praised the Indian Super League (ISL) for helping the national football team take giant strides in world football. Speaking at an event in Mumbai, Rohit said that he sees a lot of confidence amongst the Blue Tigers and backed them to perform well in a busy international footballing season ahead.

“They have taken a giant leap in where they are at this moment, said Rohit about the Indian football team. “The ISL has played a huge part in that. The most important thing is for people to get exposure. Even for us in cricket, when the emergence of IPL happened, a lot of our local players got exposure playing with international stars. That is what the leagues in India are doing,” Rohit said during the event.

The Indian national team has been on a roll recently, winning multiple multi-nation tournaments which started in the form of them emerging victorious in Intercontinental Cup in Odisha in June. They followed it up with an emphatic triumph in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) in Bengaluru in July. Going ahead, the Sunil Chhetri-led side is eyeing impressive performances in the Asian Games and the AFC Asian Cup that will take place early next year. Rohit quipped that he would love to see the Indian team compete against some of the top European sides in the future.

“I would love for them to play against one of the top European teams and go neck-to-neck. Whenever I see them play, they look quite confident. Definitely, they have got a lot of skills as well. It is just about exposure. The more and more exposure they get by playing in Europe and other parts of the world, they are only going to get better,” the Indian skipper signed off.

The Indian national football team is set to participate in the King’s Cup in Thailand prior to the Asian Games in September-October. Meanwhile, Rohit will be leading the Men in Blue in the highly-anticipated ICC Men’s ODI World Cup that will be held from October 5-November 19 in India.