Abbott underwhelmed by pink ball

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Kyle Abbott admitted that South Africa were left underwhelmed by the pink ball's activity after Australia built a first-innings lead over the tourists in Adelaide.

Led by Usman Khawaja's unbeaten 138, Australia ended day two at the Adelaide Oval on 307-6, with a lead of 48 runs.

Abbott was the undoubted star of the Proteas' attack, bowling 25 overs for figures of 38-3 and a remarkable 11 maidens.

Australia's batsmen routinely struggled to handle Abbott's movement, but the bowler was left frustrated after captain Faf du Plessis' bold declaration on Thursday and supposedly helpful conditions the following morning failed to bear fruit.

"We did expect it to do a lot more," Abbott said of the pink Kookaburra ball. 

"There's periods of the game where it does a bit. If it's new, early in the morning it did a bit then it kind of went quiet after tea, [that] seemed like the best time to bat and then when the light dipped [it got harder again]. 

"I don't think it has lived up to its hype and expectation."

Batsmen have found the combination of pink ball and a grassy Adelaide Oval pitch much more favourable than last year's first day/night Test and Abbott believes a strong start to day three is crucial if the Proteas are to set themselves up for a potential sweep of the three-match series, which they lead 2-0.

"Tomorrow is going to be key," Abbott said. "If we can pick up the four wickets and not have a deficit of anything 100 and above, we would be pretty confident in knocking off and posting a score after that.

"The first 15 to 20 overs are going to really testing and I think majority of the wickets have fallen in that period. When it's our turn to bat again, we are going to identify that. It seems to be getting better but as pitches naturally do, it's going to deteriorate."