The two pillars of the modern-day England Test team – Moeen Ali and Alastair Cook – were publicly opposed when the two came together to do commentary on the 2021 Ashes. Even as things turned bad on the field for England, who lost the series 4-0, the mood in the studio was not improving. And then Moeen Ali did something that angered his former captain. It all started when Ali compared Joe Root to Cook, saying that ‘Rootie’ had more emotional empathy towards his players.
It didn’t go down well with Cook.
“Are you just criticizing my captaincy?” Cook asked and Moeen accepted, adding “a little”.
Cook then hit back and asked him how many times Root had dropped Ali from the playing XI, to which Ali replied, “That’s true but you batted me 1-9 in my first year of international cricket.”
However, the duo returned to the commentary box once again after a gap of four months, this time during the second Test match between England and New Zealand. And Cook was quick to set the record straight by being on the offensive last time.
“I was coming back from vacation, going straight to the studio at midnight. I met Mo (Moin) with a smile, he is as happy as ever. Anyway, half an hour into the shift, he basically told everyone watching and listening, ‘I wasn’t a very good captain and I wouldn’t be a very good coach’. That’s how it went. So I really feel like I have nothing to defend here,” Cook said on the BBC’s Test Match Special.
Sir Alastair Cook ️ “He Told Everyone I Wasn’t A Very Good Captain!”
Moeen Ali ️ “I was saying that Ruthie has a lot more empathy for her players than you do!”
Both discuss *that* viral video…
— test match special (@bbctms) 11 June 2022
Later, Ali also clarified that he did not compare Root to Cook.
“It was a little out of context. I was basically saying that Ruthie had a lot more empathy for the players than you! And I didn’t even mention once that you’re not a good captain or if you’re better than Ruthie. There are or not. And then, you took it personally to heart and it went viral,” said Moeen.