Nathan Lyon is relishing the chance to take down Brendon McCullum, likening the challenge to that posed by Kevin Pietersen.

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Lyon’s record at the Gabba is an impressive20 wickets from four Tests at an average of 23.20.

Yet since making his Test debut in 2011, so many of the offspinner’s trips to Brisbane have coincided with calls for an all-pace attack.

Those years are over.

No longer is Lyon’s place under question – he’s now a leader and an automatic selection.

And when Steve Smith and Darren Lehmann are plotting plans for New Zealand’s destructive skipper McCullum you can be sure Lyon will feature prominently.

“I can’t wait. I’m approaching it very similar to Kevin Pietersen,” Lyon said on the eve of the first Test, which starts on Thursday.

“They seem to not like spinners very much.

“It’s a massive challenge.

“They want to try and hit you out of the attack and it provides chances.”

Lyon accepted it was a battle he won’t win every time.

“There’s going to be the odd occasion that he may get me and hit me out of the ground,” he said.

“He’s a world-class batter, an exciting batter for the game.”

Left-armer Mitchell Starc nominated hard-hitting McCullum and talented first drop Kane Williamson as the key wickets for the hosts.

“We’re quite an aggressive group and we’ll definitely be targeting those guys who are probably their two biggest weapons with the bat,” Starc said.

“A bit like the World Cup when we quietened them down when we got rid of McCullum, if we can get rid of those guys early they could really struggle.”

Starc noted Williamson was dangerous in a different way.

“He can bat for a long time and has probably scored a lot of their runs in the last little bit,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lyon suggested Australia’s change in captain would have little impact on his tactics or approach.

“I’ve played a lot of games under him already. We won a Shield together when he was captain,” he said.

“So I’ve already spent a lot of time with him and have been lucky for that.

“I’m really good mates with him and just happy he’s got the job and that I can play a role under him.”

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