England's Archer aiming for Test return against West Indies

London (AFP) –


England fast bowler Jofra Archer still believes he has a Test future as he targeted a return to the five-day format during next year's tour of the West Indies.

The 26-year-old a was ruled out of the current Test series against India and the Ashes tour of Australia, as well as the T20 World Cup that falls between those campaigns -- after suffering a stress fracture in his right elbow.

Given the injury to his bowling arm, some have questioned whether Archer will be fit enough to play in cricket's longest format again, with former England captain Alastair Cook fearing Archer may lose pace as elbow problems are a "game changer".

But the Sussex quick in, a column for Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, said his "best years as a Test cricketer are ahead of me".

"When I got the news that I'd be out for the rest of 2021 because I had suffered another stress fracture in my elbow, it was pretty tough to take," Archer recalled. "But I've always been of the view that everything happens for a reason, and the injury doesn't change the way I look at my career.

"I've said many times before that Test cricket is the most important format to me and nothing has changed in that respect. It's frustrating to be sitting out an important series against India, as well as not being able to make the trip to Australia this winter -- not to mention the Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE.

The 2019 50-over World Cup winner added: "If I do end up with another stress fracture, I may have a different view on things as regards to my future. But for the moment, I'm still only 26 and I think my best years as a Test cricketer are ahead of me.

"The reason I had an operation in May was because I wanted to sort out the problem once and for all. I don't want this thing hanging over me. I want to be out there again, taking wickets and helping win games for England."

Now Barbados-born Archer, the son of an English father, hopes for a Caribbean comeback with England.

"I'm trying to be cautious about when I make my comeback, but I guess there's a chance I'll be ready in time for England's three-Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean in March," he said.

"But I can't make any promises, and I'll be seeing a specialist soon about the elbow."