Steven Smith will look to help Australia maintain their dominance over New Zealand in the Test series © Getty Images
Steven Smith will look to help Australia maintain their dominance over New Zealand in the Test series © Getty Images

Melbourne: Australian captain Steven Smith has hit back at Brendon McCullum after being labelled ‘immature’ by his New Zealand counterpart over his controversial Ben Stokes decision at Lord’s. England all-rounder Stokes was controversially adjudged out for ‘obstructing the field’ after he struck his hand out at Mitchell Starc’s throw aimed at the stumps during their second One-Day International (ODI) against Australia in September. Responding to McCullum’s criticism, Smith admitted that he felt ‘a little bit disappointed’ over the jibe and stated that it was none of his business to make a comment on the incident, News.com.au reported. READ: Steven Smith: Will bat at No.4 against New Zealand in first Test at Gabba

McCullum had said in his column for a daily that Smith missed a great opportunity to strike a blow for the spirit of cricket, adding that the Australian showed his immaturity by not withdrawing his appeal. However, Smith defended his actions saying that Stokes had deliberately obstructed the stumps from an attempted run-out from Starc and insisted that it was his right as captain to leave the ultimate decision in the hands of the umpires.

Smith had earlier indicated that he will bat at the No.4 position in the Test series against New Zealand. “[By dropping down to No. 4], if there’s a run of wickets hopefully I can stop it. I think a lot of the players that are coming through at the moment are top order players,” Smith said. “It’s just the way I see it at the moment. Breaking it up between Davey and myself and hopefully the guys at the top and No. 3 do well and then I can just come in and get some runs on the board as well,” explained Smith.  READ: Brendon McCullum says Steven Smith might live to regret ‘obstructing the field’ dismissal against Ben Stokes

Australia are set to renew their trans-Tasman rivalry with New Zealand, with the first of the three-match Test series starting at the Gabba on Thursday.