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Mitchell Starc could join 300-wicket club according to Australia coach Darren Lehmann

Kaushal Raj
611   //    11 Jul 2016, 14:35 IST
Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc will make his return to Test cricket in Sri Lanka

Australian left-arm quick Mitchell Starc has received a big vote of confidence from his coach Darren Lehmann ahead of Australia’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. Starc, who made a competitive return to international cricket in the recently concluded tri-series between Australia, South Africa and the West Indies will be hoping to reach a landmark in his career as he spearheads the Australian bowling attack in Sri Lanka. 

The 26 year old made his return after he underwent ankle surgery, back in December 2015. Starc currently has 94 wickets from 25 Tests at an average of 30.58. It does come as a boost then that, Darren Lehmann believes he can reach the 300 wicket mark in Test cricket. In history, only 4 Australian seamers have managed to breach the 300 mark – Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Dennis Lillee and Glenn McGrath. 

Coach Lehmann believes that Starc is an absolute asset to have in the bowling line-up, however, he will only reach the mark if he manages to stay fit for a sustained period of time. Starc is a part of the Australian setup in all three formats, making it an even greater challenge to keep the quick bowler fit. Lehmann remarks that the focus should be on big Test matches, ODI cricket and World Cups, to ensure that Starc is always at his best. Further, he adds that Starc is an asset both in the beginning and the end of the innings, and he is very quick through the air, which is an advantage when you look to extract reverse swing.

"If he stays on the park, he could. 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.” Darren Lehmann says.

Australia are gearing up for a long tour in Sri Lanka, with the two teams slated to play 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and 2 T20Is in the coming months. The first Test gets underway on the 26th of July at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. Starc will certainly be hoping to reach the 100 figure mark in the first Test and kick on from there. 

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