Cook likely to miss the fourth Test against India:

England Test opener Alastair Cook might miss the fourth test at Southampton against India for attending the birth of his third child.

Alastair Cook’s absence from the third Test will aggravate the troubles for England who will play a crucial game against the visitors at Southampton if they fail to save the third match.

Cook and his wife Alice are expecting their third child and his wife will go into labour sometime around the start of the match, on August 30.

Earlier, Cook had joined his team late during the Bangladesh Tour 2016-17 to be with his family at the time of his second daughter’s birth.

The couple’s first child was born in 2014.

If Cook misses this test, it will bring his world-record sequence of 157 Test appearances to an end.

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Cook’s absence might add to the agony of the hosts

Although England’s highest Test-run scorer is not currently in his best form, he will look forward to sticking by the side of his team as his absence might make the batting line-up of the hosts look grim.

He is averaging only 19 in Test cricket this year and this is Cook’s worst average since his debut in 2006.  He scored an unbeaten 244 at Melbourne in 2017, but he has failed to carry his fine form forward as he has only managed to score one half-century since then in 13 innings.

England are currently playing the third Test against India at Trent Bridge where they are trailing behind by 498 runs. Jonny Bairstow had to leave the ground on the third day of play after sustaining a small fracture.

England are finding themselves at a difficult position already and Cook’s absence will certainly add salt to the wounds of the hosts if he chooses to opt out of the fourth Test.

The fourth Test between England and India is slated to begin from 30 August.