Bangladesh play three one-day internationals and as many Tests in New Zealand. The ODIs are a vital part of the team's preparation ahead of the premier 50-over tournament starting in England and Wales on 30 May.
"It will give us an indication of where we are in world cricket, whether we are on target to the World Cup," Rhodes told reporters on Wednesday, 6 February, ahead of the team's departure. "Ireland and the West Indies (a tri-nation competition in May) will be closer to the tournament and so that will be the last finishing touches for the World Cup."
Bangladesh have never won a Test match or an ODI in New Zealand, and the coach, while hopeful, was realistic about their chances of changing that statistic.
"We are expecting to do well in the ODI format because that's something we pride ourselves on and so we will be doing our very best in the ODIs," he said. "As far as Test matches are concerned, very difficult.
"Again we are a little bit better equipped now for playing away from home. Hopefully we can produce some result in the Test matches."
We are a little bit better equipped now for playing away from home.
To help them in the Tests, Bangladesh have added to their coaching staff Rhys Morgan, the former New Zealand first-class cricketer. He will join them after the ODIs for around 10 days, working with those members of the ODI squad who are in the Test side as well.
Mehidy Hasan, who was among the eight players who left for New Zealand (the others will join them after the Bangladesh Premier League), added, “It is a big challenge for me. Spinners usually do well in the sub-continent, but don't seem to have that impact when they travel overseas. If us spinners can dominate, and if we support the pacers well, it will be easier for the bowlers.”