Batsman AB de Villiers acknowledged the arrival of the second new ball will bring a crucial juncture to South Africa's first Test against Pakistan, come day four at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Monday.
The Proteas' attempt to end the match inside three days was stifled by an unbroken 101-run stand between visiting skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and half-centurion Asad Shafiq on Sunday.
Shafiq's 53 not out and Misbah's unbeaten 44 carried the tourists to 183 for four, reducing an initial 479-run deficit to 297 by the close of play - after the hosts' second innings had climbed to 275 for three declared on the back of De Villiers' 103 not out.
"The wicket is playing better, the ball is not going around as much as it was on the first two days. But we have a new ball coming up and we hope that will speed things up a bit," said De Villiers.
"Pakistan will be looking to get through the new ball and then from 20 to 30 overs start to be positive again. We will be aware of that. We will have to act quickly enough."
The Pakistanis were bowled out for just 49 in their first innings - the country's lowest Test score. Coach Dav Whatmore, however, insisted a bigger, better effort on Sunday had restored a sense of pride among the ranks.
"Whatever happens from here, Sunday should give all the players confidence for the remaining two Test matches in Cape Town and Centurion," added Whatmore.
"I thought the wicket settled down a bit too and what we wanted to do was show better application. We did that and the players will have learnt a lot from this experience. Nine of our 11 for this Test have never played in South Africa with the red ball and so it is a big learning curve."