Nottingham: Former England captain and opening batsman Alastair Cook could miss the fourth Test against India in Southampton next week to attend the birth of his third child. 

Cook is not in form in the ongoing series against India and has scored only 80 runs in five innings. 

Cook and his wife Alice are expecting their third child during the fourth Test that starts from August 30 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. This is the same ground that saw Cook come back into form in 2014 when India toured the last time. 

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Cook joined the 2016-17 tour of Bangladesh late so that he could be at the side of his wife during the birth of his second daughter, Isobel. The couple's first daughter, Elsie, was born in 2014.

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

And it would come at an awkward time for Cook, who has been averaging only 19 in Test cricket this year — comfortably his lowest annual average since his debut in 2006. Since making an unbeaten 244 against Australia at Melbourne over the winter, he has managed only one half-century in 14 innings.

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Surrey's Rory Burns is the likely replacement for Cook.

England's situation has been further complicated by an injury to Jonny Bairstow, who suffered what the ECB described as a "small fracture" of his left middle finger, while keeping wicket on the third morning of the third Test in Nottingham. This has put Bairstow's participation at Southampton and Oval Tests in doubt.