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Steve Smith ok with day-night Shield round

AAP logoAAP 24/10/2016 Rob Forsaith and Vince Rugari

Australian cricket stars will face white balls and pink balls the week before taking on South Africa in a Test but skipper Steve Smith isn't fussed.

NSW and Queensland, who clashed in a domestic one-day final at North Sydney Oval on Sunday, will start a day-night Sheffield Shield match at the Gabba on Tuesday.

The schedule means South Africa will have had more red-ball match practice than Australia in the lead-up to the three-Test series opener, which starts next Thursday in Perth.

Smith prefers to see the upside, noting he would gain valuable insights this week that could be used in Australia's day-night Test against Pakistan at the Gabba in December.

"We've got a Test match there in a couple of weeks," Smith said on Monday.

"It gives us a great opportunity to see how the ball reacts.

"How the conditions are and what different sort of tactics you can take into a Test match potentially."

Smith suggested earlier this year he couldn't see the point of a day-night Ashes Test, as has been floated by Cricket Australia, but is generally more diplomatic than most teammates when it comes to the innovation.

The skipper believed Kookaburra's pink ball had "come a long way" in the past couple of seasons, after all manner of complaints from players.

"They've added another layer of lacquer to the ball," Smith said.

"It's possibly doing a little bit less than it previously has. They're working as well as they can to get that product as right as they can.

"It's a great innovation for the game and it's going to continue to be played around the world I dare say."

Queensland opener Joe Burns, who will attempt to bolster his bid for a Test recall with a big score against NSW this week, agreed the pink ball had improved in recent years.

"It's certainly evolved over the last few years I've played. It seems like the ball keeps developing, it's getting to a stage where a lot of countries around the world are buying into it," Burns said in Brisbane.

"As players, that's really exciting.

"It's certainly different. I like the challenge of the pink ball, it's obviously different to red-ball cricket and white-ball cricket."

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia (CA) has confirmed that English Dukes balls will be used for the second half of the Shield season.

Australia haven't won an Ashes series in England since 2001, prompting CA to mull ways to prepare future stars for the unique challenge.

"Over winter we worked with Dukes to produce a ball that suited Australian conditions but also mirrored the look and feel of the English Test ball," CA's head of cricket operations Sean Cary said.

"We've gathered feedback from players and high-performance staff around the country, and we are confident with the results to date."

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