Lehmann backs Starc to take 300 Test wickets


Australia paceman Mitchell Starc is capable of taking 300 Test wickets if he stays healthy, according to coach Darren Lehmann.

The 26-year-old left-armer has 91 Test scalps in 25 matches for Australia, but needed ankle surgery late last year.

Lehmann feels Starc can take his tally to 300 - a mark reached by only five Australians previously.

"If he stays on the park, he could," Lehmann told Fairfax.

"He plays all formats - that is the hardest part for him.

"Managing him through that is going to be our challenge as a coaching staff and selection panel, making sure high-priority Test tours, one-day tours, World Cups and all that, are going to be high on the agenda, and making sure he is fit and available for those."

Starc and Co. are preparing for a three-Test series against Sri Lanka beginning in Pallekele on July 26.

Lehmann hopes the speedster can have a huge impact throughout a series Australia are expected to win.

He said: "He obviously has air speed, which is going to be important when the ball goes reverse.

"It's important that we keep him fit and playing. We know how good he can be

"It's all up to him. His ability to knock over good batsmen and also knock over the tail quite quickly.

"For us, that is a really important thing when you are trying to get 20 wickets in a space of time."