England opener Alastair Cook and his wife Alice are expecting their third child which could coincide with the Southampton Test that starts on Thursday, August 30. The England management is hoping the timing of the birth will allow Cook to play the crucial fourth Test.
If Cook misses out, it will bring an end to his world-record consecutive appearances of 157 Tests.
Surrey opener Rory Burns is the primary candidate to take Cook’s place in the England side in case he opts out of the next Test. 27-year-old Burns has been a consistent performer for his County side having amassed over 7000 first-class runs in 101 games and has been in the reckoning for an England cap for a while.
Alastair Cook, England’s highest run-scorer in Tests, has been in wretched form this year averaging just 19, easily his worst since debuting in 2006. In the last 13 innings, Cook has managed just one half-century with experts coming down hard on the former captain.
In the first two Tests of the ongoing series against India, Cook has scores of 2, 13 & 0 but with England winning on both occasions, his constant failures haven’t always been the talking point. However, with the hosts needing a further 498 runs to win the third Test at Trent Bridge, Cook will need to get all his experience into play and dig in with two days remaining in the game.
England’s concerns have been further amplified with Keaton Jennings’ patchy form and Jonny Bairstow’s fracture to his left middle finger on Day 3. Though the wicket-keeper batsman will bat in the fourth innings if needed.