Starc bound for the 300 club: Lehmann

Coach says pace spearhead could join red-ball elite along names like Lillee, Johnson and Lee

Mitchell Starc is already setting wicket-taking records in one-day cricket and now has been backed to become just the fifth Australian to take more than 300 Test wickets.

Starc, with 25 Tests to his name, has taken 91 Test wickets currently be the joint 43rd most prolific wicket-taker in Australian Test history.

But he's expected to add significantly to that when the three-Test series gets underway in Kandy

He's a long way behind leading fast-bowler Glenn McGrath's 563 in 124 Tests, but coach Darren Lehmann says Starc could join McGrath, Dennis Lillee, Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee as the only Aussies in the 300-club.

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But there's an important qualification to Lehmann's assertion: fitness.

"He plays all formats. That is the hardest part, managing him through that is going to be our challenge," Lehmann told Fairfax.

"Making sure high-priority Test tours, one-day tours, World Cups and all that, are going to be on the agenda, and making sure he is fit for those.

"If he stays on the park, he could (pass 300 Test wickets)."

I've got the hunger back: Starc

Starc set a new record for wicket-taking in one-day cricket in Australia's recent tri-series triumph in the Caribbean, becoming the game's most lethal bowler in his first 50 one-day internationals with 98 scalps.

The left-armer also needs just two more scalps in his next one-day international to break Saqlain Mushtaq's 19-year-old record of 53 games as the fastest bowler to the 100-wicket milestone.

Australia's interim fast bowling coach, South Africa legend Allan Donald, said Starc's ability to find reverse swing in Sri Lanka could be the key.

"Starc's the one, without a shadow of doubt," Donald told in Colombo when asked who was best-credentialed to deliver the telling spells needed to rattle the Sri Lankans on their home turf.

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"He's a 150 (kilometre per hour) bowler, he's done it in the World Cup and in Twenty20 cricket.

"I've seen him destroy top orders, middle orders, lower orders doing that same thing from both sides (of the wicket).

"That's where he is at, and that's why he is the leading fast bowler in the world right now.

"He leads that from the front, he just needs to be backed up by the rest of the group so there's a lot of hard work over the next couple of weeks."

Mitch Starc making net gains in Barbados

That thinking is perfectly in tune with that of Bupa Support Team head coach Lehmann as Australia will lean heavily on Starc's impact as they seek to win just their second Test series in Asia in the past decade.

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

"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."

Starc was forced to take a conservative approach in the Caribbean, which was first series following a six-month absence due to ankle and foot surgery.

The 26-year-old didn't shy away from his frustration at being held back on that tour, but acknowledged his fate was always in the hands of Australia's coaching and medical staff.

Starc "frustrated" by time on bench

"It's part of the plan unfortunately," Starc said ahead of the tri-series final.

"Being fit this time around and watching from the side can be a little bit frustrating. But I've got to look at the bigger picture and there's a lot to come in the next six months so I'll stick by the plan and stick by what the medicos tell me to do.

"I don't have too much say in it. I want to play every game

"The bigger picture (is) we have three Tests against Sri Lanka, a one-day series that follows that, a one-day series in South Africa and then we've got the home summer.

"It's feeling really good but I've just got to manage that at this point in time. That's for the medicos to do and me to sit back, unfortunately."

Meg Lanning Steve Smith