Starc's future in the five-match series is uncertain after he suffered calf soreness in Australia's 107-run thumping of the visitors in the ODI opener in Melbourne on Friday.
South Australia's inexperienced 21-year-old pacer Kane Richardson has been placed on standby in the squad but is expected to be 12th man for Sunday's one-dayer in Adelaide with Ben Cutting likely to make his debut.
With Starc out, Lee criticised the rotation policy, branding it confusing.
"I believe, and I'm a bit old school, that you've got to earn your right to play for Australia," he told reporters on Saturday.
"You don't want to breed a culture where you're looking over your shoulder every time ' who's out this week? Who's getting rested? Who's coming in because there are four or five guys waiting to take my spot?
"On the one hand I think it's great that everybody's getting an opportunity.
"But also, if I'm a paying member of the public, I want to see Australia's No.1 side. What is that side? I don't know, no one knows."
Lee said relying on sports science as the basis for a rotation policy was flawed.
"It's all speculation, there is no proven stats as to a certain amount of balls you can bowl," he said.
"People are getting rested on what if someone gets injured. I just don't reckon you can do that, you can't have a what if sort of policy."
Australia will again rest Test men Michael Clarke, David Warner and Matthew Wade from Sunday's game in Adelaide.