LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: David Warner of Australia celebrates his 50 during Day One of the LV= Insurance Ashes 2nd Test match between England and Australia at Lord's Cricket Ground on June 28, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Australia's attempt to break a record for the highest fourth innings chase at The Oval got off to as good of a start as it possibly could have on Day 4, and the camp are expecting the pitch to be a friend in their pursuit of the score.

England, who were bowled out for 395 in their second innings - 100 runs more than either side scored in the first innings on a pitch that looked to improve for batting - set Australia 384 for victory in a little under six sessions of play at The Oval.

Australia, who hold a 2-1 lead in the Ashes and have already retained the urn, only need a draw to win the series outright, while the best England can do is a drawn series with a win.

When rain interrupted play just 38 overs into Australia's innings, the score sat at 0 for 135, with Australia needing a further 249 runs for victory, and England being ten wickets away.

On a pitch that was doing little for the quicks, David Warner and Usman Khawaja rode out the tense new ball period in Stuart Broad's final Test before taking full advantage of the conditions, with Khawaja 69 not out and Warner 58 not out.

Australian batting coach Michael Di Venuto said he doesn't expect the pitch to deterioriate any further as Australia pursue the record score, although admitted it may turn a little bit.

"Yeah, the way they are starting these days, they start with a bit more moisture in them. We saw that over the first couple of days. Good conditions for bowling, especially with the overcast weather and the lights on. We saw both teams take advantage of that at certain stages," Di Venuto told the media after the fourth day's play had been abandoned.

"The wicket just generally gets better and better. I thought yesterday it looked pretty good with the sun out, and today it looked really good as well.

"I don't expect it to deteriorate too much tomorrow [on Day 5]. Maybe some turn, but other than that, it'll still be very good for batting."

If it does turn, then Moeen Ali, who is battling an injury, will need to come to the fore for the English as they attempt to avoid losing the Ashes series outright.

More rain may yet hamper the progress of the game, with 98 overs scheduled to be bowled on Day 5, but the forecast looking less than promising.

Play gets underway at 8pm (AEST) and, in the event of weather, can continue until 4:30am (AEST).