Nathan Lyon is relishing a showdown with South African superstar AB de Villiers, who he describes as "probably the best player" he has ever bowled to.
Lyon and De Villiers, having squared off in 12 Tests and three ODIs, will go head to head in Thursday night's Big Bash League blockbuster between the Heat and the Sixers at the Gabba.
The offspinner, who was overlooked for the recent one-day tour of India, is desperate to represent his country in all three formats and knows a productive finish to the Big Bash will help his case.
He took down the BBL's leading run-scorer Marcus Stoinis on Monday to help defeat title favourites Melbourne Stars and now the 32-year-old is plotting the downfall of De Villiers and Brisbane Heat's star-studded batting order.
"I've loved all my battles with AB. I love challenging myself against the best players in the world," Lyon told AAP.
"He's probably the best player in this format.
"AB is probably the best player I've ever played against but you can't just focus on him. He is world class, an x-factor, but you've also got Chris Lynn, Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Skull (Marnus Labuschagne)."
Lyon, having bowled to Labuschagne in the nets with Australia throughout the summer, suggested the Sixers could exploit one potential weakness.
"He might be a little bit distracted if he keeps looking at Steve Smith. We'll have to put Steve down at fine leg or something," he quipped.
Regarding his hopes of a white-ball international recall, Lyon enjoyed a "really good conversation" with George Bailey during last week's washed-out SCG clash.
Bailey will formally become a national selector from February, after the end of his final BBL season with the Hobart Hurricanes.
"I put him under the pump," Lyon said.
"I'm going to continue that conversation in a couple of weeks, after the Big Bash, but I know what I need to do - keep putting in good performances and hopefully keep winning games for the Sixers."