Cummins: Australia can't afford to 'already be cooked' before starting World Cup

Cummins: Marnus will get a chance this series and push for a spot (0:54)

Cummins speaks about Labuschagne's World Cup chances and the importance of allrounders in the Australian team (0:54)

Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell won't feature in the ODI series opener against India in Mohali which acts as the final lead-in to the World Cup, but captain Pat Cummins was hopeful they would feature later in the three-match series.

They are part of a group of senior players - Cummins included - who are returning from injuries that kept them out of the South Africa series. Starc has been recovering from a groin injury sustained in the Ashes while Maxwell, who was already due to have paternity leave, left South Africa early with ankle soreness and will only join the squad on Friday.

Cummins, who has recovered from a wrist injury, hopes to play all three matches while Steven Smith will also return after dealing with a wrist problem after the Ashes.

"We want to strike the balance between getting used to these conditions, hopefully winning some games, but we also don't want to get to that first game [of the World Cup] and already be cooked," Cummins said. "No doubt we'll be trying a few different combinations, a few different players will get a chance but ideally we'd like to structure up pretty closely to how we'll play in the World Cup.

"So batters batting in similar positions, ... and as a captain I want to get used to how you use your bowlers over here, it might be a bit different to say South Africa or Australia. Does the second spinner play a part? Hopefully we get some answers over the next few games."

There remains some uncertainty over the workload Maxwell can sustain in ODI cricket and he recently said that he would need to be smart about how he approached his game ahead of the World Cup following his badly-broken leg last year. He provides vital balance to Australia's side, potentially acting as the second spinner in some conditions, a role that could become even more important after Travis Head's injury, apart from his explosive batting.

Building towards the World Cup, Australia have focused heavily on having a deep batting order, and it is a balance Cummins said would continue, although there could be an extra specialist bowler occasionally.

Marcus Stoinis has been used as a new-ball bowler while Cameron Green will be part of the top order. Sean Abbott, who split his webbing in Johannesburg, is another pace-bowling all-round option. Aaron Hardie is also available as cover for Abbott and Nathan Ellis.

"You need five bowlers, so the more allrounders you have you can really bolster your batting," Cummins said. "It gives us flexibility to pick four genuine bowlers or maybe three bowlers and bat an allrounder at No. 8. Hopefully Maxi comes back later in the series, but the other three guys have been bowling fantastically."

From Australia's preliminary World Cup squad, Ashton Agar is not available for this series having returned home for the birth of his child.