Alastair Cook’s stoic double-century helped England pass Australia’s first innings total of 327, to take a 164-run lead at the MCG.
The former England captain showed true grit to reach his fifth career double-century which held England’s innings together.
It was a good start to the day as current and former captains fused to take England past 200, Root’s 61 crucial to Cook continuing where he left off after reaching his ton on day two.
After Root was removed by Pat Cummins, small contributions down the order helped Cook take charge. Dawid Malan (14), Jonny Bairstow (22), Moeen Ali (20) and Chris Woakes (26) took England to 366-7, beyond Australia’s first innings total, before they were dismissed.
Stuart Broad stuck around with Cook to see the 33-year-old reach his fifth double-ton, their 100-run partnership crucial to England taking command.
Broad contributed with a measured knock to reach his 12th half-century. The 31-year-old struck eight fours and a six for his 63-ball 56, helping England to 473-8 before he was removed by a controversial decision from third umpire Joel Wilson, who stayed with umpire Kumar Dharmasena’s decision to call Usman Khawaja’s fumble-catch a fair one.
Cook’s 244 was the first double hundred by an Englishman at the MCG in 89 years; the last was Wally Hammond’s in 1928. This was also the highest score by an England batsman on the ground.
England ended on 491-9, taking a 164-run lead into day four.