We have the right to play more Test cricket, says New Zealand pacer Southee

Filed on June 28, 2021
New Zealand pacer Tim Southee celebrates a wicket during the WTC final against India. (ICC Twitter)

In the last five years, New Zealand have played 18 bilateral Test series, just four of which included three matches

New Zealand pacer Tim Southee on Monday hoped that his side would get to play more Test cricket after proving their class with the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) victory.

Last week, the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand defeated India in the WTC final to grab the Test mace.

The Kiwis are also currently the number one ranked Test side in the world.

In the last five years, New Zealand have played 18 bilateral Test series, just four of which included three matches and the rest were two-match series.

New Zealand’s WTC final opponent India also played 18 series but 12 of them have included at least three Tests.

And Southee says it’s time for New Zealand to get more matches in the traditional format.

“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. 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,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Southee as saying.

But Southee admitted that New Zealand, despite winning the WTC final, might still not get more Test matches in the next few years.

“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,” he said.

“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,” said Southee.

The 32-year-old pace bowler also hopes to continue playing at the highest level for a long time.

“I feel as fit as I ever have, so I’d love to play this game for as long as I possibly can,” he said.

“It’s an absolute privilege and an absolute honour to represent your country, and do what we do, so I personally would love to do it for as long as possible.”

Williamson and Ross Taylor played unbeaten knocks off 52 and 47 respectively as New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets to clinch the inaugural WTC title at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, on Wednesday.

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