Sheffield's Joe Root confident of victory push on final day of third test.

More success on the way for Root
More success on the way for Root

Joe Root is confident Jonny Bairstow's "brilliant" batting has put England in position to push for victory over Pakistan at Edgbaston.

Both Yorkshiremen hit half-centuries in England's 414 for five on day four of the third Investec Test, leaving the hosts with a lead of 311 and the opportunity to bowl their opponents out and go 2-1 up with one to play.

That was a highly improbable situation after England had played moderately on the first two days.

But they fought back to limit the first-innings deficit to 'only' 103 - and then Root (62), Bairstow (82no) and Moeen Ali (60no) consolidated half-centuries from openers Alastair Cook (66) and Alex Hales (54).

Root had to do much of the hard work, alongside James Vince (42), but it was Bairstow and Moeen who upped the ante in an unbroken stand of 132 in just 27.3 overs to put England in control.

They hit 16 boundaries between them and impressed Root.

"The way we applied ourselves throughout this whole innings has been a magnificent effort," he said.

"It started off last night really, with the way Halesy and Cooky took the initiative and built that platform.

"It would have been very easy, if we'd lost a couple of wickets then, to feel under pressure going into today.

"We had to absorb a little bit of pressure this morning, me and Vincey - to get through that was really important.

"Then the way Jonny and Moeen played tonight was fantastic."

Pakistan's four-man attack had made things tough for the first two sessions, but wilted once England's sixth-wicket pair got set.

"It was outstanding," Root said.

"To go through the gears like that, to score quicker and quicker as that last session went on was brilliant.

"You could see it developing throughout, and it's got us into a really strong position going into the last day."

Bairstow's Test batting has been a revelation since he returned to the team mid-Ashes at this venue a year ago.

Root has not been surprised, however, and predicted his club-and-country team-mate has even more to offer.

He said: "I think the way he has applied himself to Test cricket over the last 18 months has been great.

"I really hope that can continue to develop, because I think there's a lot more we can see from him."

England needed Root to excel himself too, in his stand of 95 with Vince after Hales and Cook fell early.

"They strung four maidens on the bounce at one stage, and made it very hard for us to score," he said.

"We knew if we could get through that period, it would get easier.

"With any four-man attack, that's what you look to do - take it deep."

Root was not about to give away the likely timing of Cook's anticipated declaration, but made clear England are beginning to fancy their chances - even on a pitch which has yet to show many signs of deterioration.

"There's a slight bit of inconsistent bounce as the game has gone on," he said.

"We hope that can happen more frequently tomorrow.

"I'm sure Cookie will want a night to mull it over and think what's going to be best ... but we've just got to rock up tomorrow with the right mentality to take 10 wickets.

"If we can do that, we've got a really good chance of getting a result out of this game."

Pakistan bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed remains optimistic his team can still close out a stalemate.

"When you're in, it's a flat pitch ... and you can see there's nothing happening," he said.

"That's a great sign as a batting unit for us, (so) we can believe we can play all day tomorrow."

He is prepared to give due credit to Bairstow and Moeen, though.

"We were actually one wicket away from the game - when we got Joe Root out, Rahat Ali was bowling beautifully.

"(But) sometimes you give credit to the batter.

"Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali played brilliantly. They took the game away."