Former England captain Alastair Cook, who decided to hang up his boots in international cricket, at the end of the fifth and final Test against India might not even get a chance to feature in the playing eleven owing to personal reason.
According to a Daily Star report, Cook might be away with his wife as they are expecting a third child, and this could coincide with his final game of the series against India.
Expecting a third child
However, Cook has been named in the squad for the fifth and final Test match. If Cook does indeed miss out, Moeen Ali could be pushed up the order to open the innings with Keaton Jennings while Joe Root could be back at the number three position.
This might give another chance to Ollie Pope, who was dropped after the third Test, to prove his mettle in the middle order after Jonny Bairstow. Chris Woakes could well make a comeback at the expense of Adil Rashid as the leg-spinner has been very patchy in the recent series and Moeen Ali has once again surfaced as number one spinner in the side.
Cook, who announced his retirement from international cricket after the fourth Test, is England's leading run-scorer in Test matches with 12,254 runs at an average of almost 45. He has also led England to two home Ashes triumph as well as the historic win against India in India back in 2012.
"Although it is a sad day, I can do so with a big smile on my face knowing I have given everything and there is nothing left in the tank. I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined and felt very privileged to have played for such a long time alongside some of the greats of the English game," Cook said while announcing his decision to put a stop to an illustrious career.
Whether he walks out to face that new ball in Oval remains to be seen, but Alistair Cook has certainly done enough to be etched in England cricket history for a very long time.