Heavy showers fell over Bellerive Oval for much of the day leaving England captain Alastair Cook and fellow opener Michael Carberry frustrated after the pair compiled a record 318 without loss on Wednesday.
Play will resume at 9:30am local time, half an hour earlier than scheduled, on Friday and for the fourth and final day on Saturday.
While England’s hopes for more batting practice were dashed, two of Australia’s top batsmen in David Warner and captain Michael Clarke enjoyed near-perfect batting conditions in Melbourne during a solid warm-up in the country’s Sheffield Shield competition.
Hot-headed left-hander Warner boosted his prospects of playing in the first Ashes test in Brisbane starting Nov. 21 by blasting 104 from only 87 deliveries for New South Wales state, with Clarke chipping in with 43 in an 104-run partnership with the 27-year-old.
Warner had a disappointing series in England, missing the first two Ashes Tests after being stood down for punching England batsman Joe Root in a bar-room incident in Birmingham.
The 27-year-old has returned to form back home, however, plundering the domestic one-day competition with three tons, including a national record 197 against Victoria last month.
England won the first of back-to-back Ashes 3-0 at home and are bidding to win a fourth consecutive series against Australia.