Proteas

'Starc can reach 400 quicker than Steyn'

Mitchell Johnson (Getty)
Mitchell Johnson (Getty)

Cape Town - Former Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson says Mitchell Starc will join the short list of bowlers to reach 400 Test wickets, barring injury or loss of form.

Starc has 115 Test wickets in 28 matches, a great strike rate, and Johnson reckons the young paceman can reach the 400 mark quicker than South Africa's Dale Steyn did.

Steyn has 416 Test wickets and is six off Shaun Pollock's South African record, while Dennis Lillee holds the record for the quickest to 300 wickets (56 Tests).

Johnson, who took 313 scalps in his career, told Fairfax Media: "I said to someone the other day, he will overtake Dennis and (me) and he will do that pretty quickly.

"He will be contesting Dale Steyn's record. Dale has played 80-odd Tests and has 400.

"Starc is on that track at the moment. He is getting five wickets a Test. He has got the pace and he has got the bounce.

"He is going to be in his prime over the next few years which makes it even more scary."

Johnson added that Starc would be even further ahead in Tests if not for injuries and bowlers being rotated, as he was never allowed to get into a 'rhythm'.

Johnson added: "His one-day and short-form results have been awesome but it was in Tests that he didn't get that rhythm.

"He kept coming in and out of the team and he had a season, when I first came back into the team, against Sri Lanka in 2012, where he got dropped for that Boxing Day Test because they needed to rest him.

"The rotation thing was holding him back, he wasn't getting consistent cricket. Now that he is playing and fortunately he didn't sustain any major injury with that freak accident, he is on top of his game."

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