New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is talking up the importance of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy as some in Australia question its standing in their summer schedule.
The three-ODI series falls in the middle of Australia's home tests against South Africa and Pakistan, as they bounce between the red, pink and white balls in the space of a month.
There's displeasure both inside and outside the Australian squad at the schedule.
Hesson said it's simply part of modern day cricket.
"Every team in the world has that sort of calendar and the schedule hasn't snuck up on them."
New Zealand need to beat Australia 3-0, then do the same to Bangladesh post-Christmas to knock their trans-Tasman rivals off top spot.
Hesson said he'd rather retain the trophy than climb to number one in the ODI rankings.
Meanwhile, new selection Lockie Ferguson looks in line to debut in Sunday's opening match.
Hesson said they want to give him exposure to see if he is worth backing long term.
Ferguson has taken 77 first-class wickets in 22 matches and his deliveries are consistently over 140km/h.
Pre-season at Lincoln, the radar clocked him at 155km/h, but there was some deliberation over its veracity.