Usman Khawaja has launched a strident defence of Australia's reshuffled batting order, suggesting 300 would have been an unrealistic score on a dry pitch in their series-opening ODI loss to India.

Khawaja top-scored with 50 in Hyderabad, where the tourists crashed to 6-173 after 40 overs then finished 7-236.

India slipped to 4-99 in response but ultimately completed a six-wicket win with 10 balls spare, ensuring they'll take plenty of momentum into Tuesday's second match at Nagpur.

The World Cup is now less than three months away but Australia's batting order remains in a state of flux, partly because of uncertainty created by the looming return of suspended batters Steve Smith and David Warner.

Khawaja was drafted into the ODI side at the start of the year then promoted to open in Saturday's match, one of several changes to the order.

Marcus Stoinis batted first drop in Hyderabad, where Glenn Maxwell shifted up to No.5 and Ashton Turner debuted at No.6 with Shaun Marsh left on the sidelines having only recently arrived into the country following the birth of his second child.

Khawaja, Stoinis, Maxwell and Turner all made starts but couldn't cash in, leaving Alex Carey and Nathan Coulter-Nile to bat the final 10 overs.

Australia haven't produced a 300-plus ODI total since last year's tour of England where they lost all five matches while they've now celebrated just four wins from their past 25 one-dayers.

"Looking back, 250 when we were batting probably would have been par ... 300 would have been a bit unrealistic on that wicket," Khawaja said.

"I thought the guys played really well. Maxi is in fine touch right now, Stoiny is always playing well.

"It wasn't easy, it was a tough wicket. We were trying to figure out what the best score was.

"We just probably needed a couple more set batsmen ... for the final 5-10 overs."

Khawaja expressed confidence his team could post a big total if given the opportunity on a more batsman-friendly deck in India.

Aaron Finch touched on the issue of Australia's recent modest totals on the eve of the first ODI, noting "if you go out every ODI and try to get 400, I think you're dreaming".