Steve Smith could regret deciding not to enforce the follow-on after England ripped through Australia's top-order in Adelaide.

The Australia skipper followed a growing trend in Test cricket when he opted against sending England in to bat again on day three of the pink-ball Ashes Test.

England were bowled out for 227, trailing Australia by 215 runs, with more than 90 minutes left in Monday's evening session.

Smith opted to rest his bowlers rather than give them a second bite of the cherry under the Adelaide Oval lights, where the pink ball has tended to be at its liveliest.

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And England took full advantage of the movement on offer, dismissing Smith, David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja to leave Australia 4-53 at stumps.

The hosts will take heart from their 268-run lead but Test great Shane Warne pondered whether Smith had made the right call.

"It's hard not to talk about the fact Australia haven't enforced the follow-on when the ball is nipping around like this," he said while commentating for the Nine Network.

"England now have this ball talking. They are all over Australia at the moment under lights. It doesn't get much harder than this when you've got the bat in hand."

Australia's bowlers weren't consulted by Smith but Mitchell Starc said he and fellow quicks Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were comfortable with their workloads.

"Obviously we had a tough session with the bat, but we've got a lead of 260-odd and a lot of batting in the sheds," he said.


"There's no reason why we can't build a really big lead and then have England on the ropes in the night session."

Smith has had five opportunities to enforce the follow-on since assuming the captaincy and has done so just once.

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Former skipper Michael Clarke had urged Smith to put England's batsmen to the sword as their first innings drew to an end.

But England paceman Chris Woakes said it would have been a tough call given the vagaries of day-night cricket.

"It can't be an easy decision as a captain," he said.

"Especially in a pink-ball Test match when you're going into an evening session."

- AAP