Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis on Tuesday backed his teammate Dinesh Karthik to make another India comeback following the wicketkeeper batter's match-winning knock against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
Karthik smashed an unbeaten 44 of 23 balls to fire RCB to a four wicket win after a batting collapse that put his team in deep trouble.
Shahbaz Ahmed also made a crucial 45 off 26 balls to set up the win.
"DK is playing his best cricket. I think he needs to put his name back into international cricket, doesn't he," said du Plessis at the post-match presentation.
"To pull it out of nowhere you need some good characters, and DK is as big a character as you can get. That calmness towards the end allows others to just come in," said the former South Africa skipper.
Karthik, who has made many national comebacks, last played for India in the 2019 World Cup. He wants to return to the Indian side as a designated finisher.
Having moved teams this season, Karthik said he needed to up his game.
"I made a conscious effort to do justice to myself. Felt I could have done better in the last few years. The way I've trained has been different. I was telling myself I'm not done yet. I have a goal and I want to achieve something," said the 36-year-old.
Karthik had put in the hard yards with friend and coach Abhishek Nayar ahead of the IPL.
"Stay calm, know your game and who you can take on. I made an effort to play white-ball cricket, practice matches and scenarios. Those are the hours you put in when no one sees," he said when asked about the areas he has worked on.
"The real work is done in the lead-up to IPL, which is what I'll give credit to. You have to premeditate in T20, but if it's not there, you have to have the ability to change the shot."