Steve Smith claimed Glenn Maxwell being dropped from the Australia side was not a response to his controversial comments about Victoria Bushrangers captain and international team-mate Matthew Wade.
Maxwell was fined by Cricket Australia after publicly bemoaning his club skipper's decision to bat above him for the Victoria state side.
He was then left out of the line-up for Sunday's one-day international victory over New Zealand, but captain Smith - whose 164 set up their 68-run triumph - suggested the call was made to give Travis Head a chance to prove himself.
"It was more about giving Travis another opportunity," said Smith. "He played well last week, he scored a hundred in Shield cricket so he's in good nick.
"I guess it was about giving him an opportunity first, and he played well so he's taken that opportunity."
Regarding Maxwell's outburst against Wade, Smith added: "The comments that he made were disappointing and disrespectful towards Matty.
"We've moved on from that now and it's about focusing on this series."
Maxwell came on as a substitute fielder to take a catch that dismissed Black Caps danger man Martin Guptill on 114.