Australia have consolidated at 2-103 and trail by 61 runs late in the second session on day four of the Ashes Test, with the covers on and David Warner and Steve Smith unbeaten at the crease.
Australia captain Steve Smith celebrates a century in the first Ashes Test of the 2017/2018 season.
England were bowed out for 491 at the MCG, where Jimmy Anderson fell for a duck off the first ball and Alastair Cook carried his bat to finish 244 not out.
The tourists relinquished the urn by losing at the Gabba, Adelaide Oval and WACA.
But they will be perfectly placed to win the dead rubber in Melbourne should Australia's two best batsman fold.
Warner is 40 not out, while Smith is on 25.
Showers forced umpires to stop play some 12 overs into the post-lunch session. Play resumed at 2.40pm local time but the covers came on again 20 minutes later.
Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja both started positively, but fell for 27 and 11 respectively.
Bancroft and Khawaja will be desperate for a big score in the final Test in Sydney before selectors pick a squad for the ensuing tour of South Africa.
Bancroft stroked four boundaries then played on to Chris Woakes.
Khawaja lofted a six off Moeen Ali then edged a pinpoint delivery from Jimmy Anderson to keeper Jonny Bairstow.
Earlier, Cook became the first batsman ever to carry his bat in a completed innings at the MCG.