They suffered another top-order slump in a second innings where they had to make cricket history to pull off an improbable win - no side have made more in the fourth innings to win a Test than the West Indies' 418 for seven against Australia at St John's, Antigua in 2003.
After winning the first two Tests, England were outclassed by the tourists, falling 203 runs short - largely thanks to a dismal first innings in which Root's men were bowled out for 161.
But only just. Jos Buttler led the home side's resistance with a maiden Test hundred, but even the most optimistic of English supporters would not have dreamt of dodging this bullet. The Gujarat pacer could have dismissed Adil Rashid courtesy a catch by Virat Kohli in the 88 over had it not been for the error.
If Cook were to miss the Test to attend the birth, it would leave England in a bit of a hole, with Keaton Jennings looking devoid of form or technical improvement since he was dropped for the first time previous year. I know what I'm capable of doing. India had faced heavy losses in the first two Tests in Birmingham and London.
"In white-ball cricket, things are different".
"You can't just blast batsmen out in Tests, as proper lines and lengths are important. We have experienced bowlers, who can work him out". "We have to look at that, and adapt our games individually in Southampton and give ourselves a good chance to score 400 plus so we can put some scoreboard pressure". "A tough time there", Kohli said at the presentation ceremony after the match.
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"He is striking the ball well in the nets, and I wouldn't say necessarily that he is out of form". Also, I kept an eye on what bowlers of the two teams did in the first two Tests. It was just a question of as batsmen what we can do to provide them with that cushion of going hard at the opposition and that's exactly what we did in this game.
"With the sun coming out, batting was easier. But the way he speaks on the field, the way he speaks to the batters around the group and offers his experience, it doesn't look like someone who is thinking about jacking it in". Buttler and Ben Stokes had added 169 runs for the fifth wicket, battling, hoping, delaying the near-inevitable.
It all unravelled spectacularly once the second new ball was taken, an hour and a half after tea. So, we had to make ideal use of it.
India had taken the extra time available to try and wrap the game up before the close but they will need to return on Wednesday to conclude their inevitable triumph.
Asked about bowling long spells, Bumrah credited that to first-class cricket, where he says he did bowl a lot of overs before making his worldwide debut.
In his first match of the series, following a thumb injury in a Twenty20 against Ireland in Malahide on June 27, Bumrah bowled 26 overs on Tuesday that included an impressive pre-lunch spell of one for 10 in nine.