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05th Jan 2022

Moeen Ali and Alastair Cook’s endure painfully awkward on-air exchange

Callum Boyle

Huge David Brent vibes here

Moeen Ali and Alastair Cook had an awkward on-air exchange during BT Sport’s coverage of day one of the fourth Ashes Test in which Ali criticised Cook’s captaincy.

The conversation took place during the rain-affected coverage, in which Ali began to describe the differences he experienced in leadership between Cook and current England skipper Joe Root, with the spinner claiming Root had a more “emotional” attachment to his teammates.

“Rooty has more of an emotional attachment with the players, he spends more time with the players,” Ali said.

Cook, who looked taken aback by the comment, then replied: “Are you just criticising my captaincy?” before Ali promptly responded: “I am a little bit, yeah.

“They’re both very different, I did do better with the bat under Cooky but with the ball I was better with Rooty.”

The former England captain then retaliated with the claim that he never “dropped” Ali from his side whereas Root had omitted him from squads.

But Ali wouldn’t back down from his argument and responded by saying: “That’s true but you also batted me from 1 to 9 in my first year of international cricket.”

The debate continued with Cook providing his explanation as to why he utilised Ali as he did.

He said: “I was giving you a chance, I couldn’t work whether he you were a tail-ender or an opening batsman so I tried to find the perfect role.”

But the 34-year-old continued to pull no punches in his responses as he reiterated his case that Root was more in touch with the emotional side of the players.

“Just to go back to my point, Rooty was a little bit more involved with the players, in my opinion,” the former bowler commented.

“Not that Cooky doesn’t care but I think Rooty is a bit more ‘arm over the shoulder’ kind of guy.”

By this point, Cook had lost all patience and swiftly ended the discussion, inciting that Ali had ruined his holiday spirit.

He said: “I’m not sure I will take this anymore, I’ve just come back from a nice holiday and I’ve walked straight into Moeen Ali off his long run.”