Gayle targets Test return in 2016

West Indies opener Chris Gayle is still eager to make a return to Test cricket, eyeing 2016 for his comeback in the five-day format.

The Windies have been criticised after opening their three-Test series against Australia with an embarrassing loss by an innings and 212 runs in Hobart.

Gayle is among those missing for the tourists, but he is in Australia to play for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League.

The left-hander said adding to his 103 Tests was definitely still part of the plan.

“There’s no way I could have actually been part of that Test team [in Hobart], I’m just coming back off injury,” Gayle told a news conference on Tuesday.

“I haven’t retired from the game so Test cricket is still on the agenda for sure.”

Gayle, whose last Test was in 2014, said criticism of West Indies had been too harsh.

The 36-year-old backed Jason Holder’s team to eventually come good, although they are given little chance of surprising Australia.

“You want to bash the cricket, you bash me basically,” Gayle said.

“You don’t really have to be so hard on West Indies cricket. We have to give it time. It’s a young team so we definitely have to give it time rather than being so harsh on West Indies cricket all the time.

“It won’t happen overnight, but there’s a lot of talent out there so we just have to deal with the youngsters for now.”

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