New Zealand has been a consistent side over the years and deserves to play more Test cricket following its title-winning run at the inaugural World Test Championships, believes pace spearhead Tim Southee.
New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets in the final to claim the World Test Championship title last week. The Black Caps have played just four three-match series out of the 18 bilateral Test series in the last five years. India also played 18 bilateral Test series but 12 of them included at least three games.
"I guess one of our strengths as a side is that we sort of just concentrate on what's put in front of us, and what we try and achieve as a group, (but) I guess playing more Test cricket as a whole would be nice," Southee was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo'.
"We don't play that many three-match series, so I guess just being able to play more Test matches and hopefully more three-match series rather than two-match series."
Unlike the Kiwis, who mostly played two-match rubbers, Virat Kohli and his men also featured in a number of four and five-Test series during the same duration.
"But yeah, I think it's tough with future tours (programme) already being in place up to now, but just being able to perform at this level for a number of years and being a consistent side, I guess we have that right to play more Test cricket," Southee said.
Southee said a three-Test series is more challenging and provides more opportunities to test a player.
"As players, Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game, and you always want to play more. It's something that we haven't played a lot of, three-match-series, so to be able to test yourself over three matches rather than just two matches...
"...it's obviously a lot more taxing, it's a tougher battle to get yourself up and go again over three matches, but that's the beauty of it, and it's part and parcel of it. It's tough cricket, and you want to play as much as you possibly can."
The 32-year-old pacer said he would like to extend his career as much as he can and is taking inspiration from teammate Ross Taylor and England pacer James Anderson.
"I feel as fit as I ever have, so I'd love to play this game for as long as I possibly can," Southee said. "Seeing guys like James Anderson, at 38, still being able to do what he's doing gives everyone hope, Ross Taylor at 37 still being able to perform at this level.
"I think it comes down to the individual standards that you set yourself, and you're able to hold those high standards that it takes to play at this level, then I guess age is only a number. I hope there's a lot of life left in me."