The clash at a packed-out Eden Park on Saturday is one that is likely to go a long way in deciding top spot in Pool A, which offers a more favourable position in the quarter-finals.
But New Zealand coach Hesson, in charge since July 2012, has played down the hype surrounding the clash between the co-hosts, saying it will be treated like any other game.
“Just another one of the round robin games and obviously it’s going to be a good one,” said Hesson.
“We know it’s going to be a great contest, we haven’t played Australia a lot in recent times but it’s an important game for us and important for the group so we will treat it as the other ones.”
New Zealand are perched at the top of Pool A with three wins from as many games while Australia have one win in two matches, with their second against Bangladesh abandoned due to rain in Brisbane last weekend. Hesson admits it will be a pressure-filled occasion on Saturday.
He said: “The pressure is playing a side ranked No 1 and who have won four World Cups. They’re a good side. There’s two good sides playing pretty well at the moment so I don’t think (favouritism) really adds a lot to it.
Australia and New Zealand have not met in a completed one-day international since their 2011 World Cup game in Nagpur, which the Australians won by seven wickets. Their Champions Trophy match in Edgbaston in 2013 was rained off as a no-result.
All-rounder Shane Watson is “excited” by the prospect of a rancorous reception at Eden Park which has long been a house of pain for Australia’s national rugby team.
“I know Saturday is going to be hostile from the times I’ve played here before,” said Watson, who has played three times at Auckland’s main venue.
“I certainly know we’re not favourites. That’s the exciting thing about going out here.
“We know we’re not very welcome. Players and fans try to do everything to prevent us winning.”
Explosive batsman David Warner admitted New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum’s wicket will be a big part of Australian planning and Watson agrees with his team-mate.
“He’s a very aggressive player but we know he’s going to take a few risks,” he said.??????????????????????????
“It can be devastating because he can hit your best ball to the boundary and take the game away from any opposition.
“When a player of his quality comes in, you’ve got to have a few good plans. With that high-risk game there’s still a chance of getting him out.”