Chhetri winning headers, Luna at everything: ISL's best players at oddly specific instances

When Chhetri competes for a high ball, Chhetri wins it. It’s just what he does. Vipin Pawar/Focus Sports/ISL

We all have our favourite ISL players. It's been 10 years of wild chaos and boring humdrum and everything in between in the Indian Super League and that's time enough for us to decide who the best are.

Here, though, is an alternate list. A list of 10 players who are the very best (no debate, really) when it comes to a very particular, even odd, instance on an Indian football pitch:

Sunil Chhetri when he's up against a defender a foot taller than him

There's something deep within the man that gets triggered when someone thumps an aerial ball in the general vicinity of him and centre backs who are about a foot taller than him. Maybe it's just his way of asserting dominance, maybe he does it to put tall people in their place, maybe he's just showing off - but when Chhetri competes for a high ball, Chhetri wins it. It's just what he does.

Kiyan Nassiri when his manager remembers he exists

(And plays him in a position where he can get into the penalty box). Don't banish Nassiri to the wings. Don't forget him on the bench. Just play him up top, gaffer.

Sandesh Jhingan in a 50-50

What you see as a 50-50, the ponytailed sliding machine sees as a 100-0. There are no half-measures when it comes to a Sandesh Jhingan slide challenge/body block. He will slide several metres to his target, put his head where others wouldn't dare put their feet, put his feet where they have no logical reason to be. Either the ball gets past him or the man, rarely both.

Adrian Luna when a ball is at his feet

Actually, he's the best player in the league when not on the ball too, so that statement is only half true.

Ahmed Jahouh just outside his own box

Time slows when Jahouh is on the ball anywhere, but it comes to a virtual standstill when he's got it at feet just outside his own box. He will feint, he will shoulder drop, he will nutmeg, he will elastico, he will do everything but take the safe option. If you're his manager, you probably have/need a very good cardiologist working for you.

Sumeet Passi in Stephen Constantine's mind

One of Indian football's enduring mysteries.

Rafael Crivellaro when he doesn't have to run

No one in India takes set pieces like Crivellaro. He can make the ball sing, dance, give a speech on the tumultuous love affair between Brazilians and freekicks. Just don't ask him to do this new-fangled high pressing forward role.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu when a crunch-time penalty is stuck low-and-hard

Playoffs? No worries. Semi-final? No worries. The final of an international tournament? Noooo worries. Hit it as hard as you want, place it as well as you want, but if it's in that bottom left/bottom right quadrant, the big man's getting a paw to it.

Dimi Petratos when no one around him is playing football

It's magical what Petratos can whip up even when playing in a team that hasn't the slightest interest in scoring goals or creating chances. Exhibit A: the ISL Cup that's sitting in the Mohun Bagan tent at the Maidan right now.

Mourtada Fall in the box for a set-piece (either end)

He's 6'5", about as broad as he is tall, and has the skill to read a football's aerial trajectory like it's being written in front of his eyes. Yeah, there's no stopping that.