Moeen takes aim at Cook's captaincy in very awkward on-air exchange

Moeen Ali takes aim at Alastair Cook’s captaincy skills and man management in VERY awkward on-air exchange as former England team-mates sit next to each other as BT Sport Ashes pundits

  • Former England team-mates Moeen Ali and Alastair Cook were involved in a very awkward on-air exchange during BT Sport’s Ashes coverage 
  • Moeen defended current captain Joe Root while taking a swipe at Cook
  • He said Cook had put him everywhere from No 1 to No 9 in the batting order
  • Former spinner suggested Cook wasn’t as good at man management as Root
  • Cook responded by saying that Root had dropped Moeen more than he did 

Moeen Ali criticised Alastair Cook’s player-management skills as England captain during an awkward on-air exchange between the former team-mates.

Sitting on the same sofa as pundits for BT Sport on the first day of the fourth Ashes Test, Moeen defended Joe Root’s ability as a leader while taking a swipe about his former skipper Cook.

Moeen started with what appeared to be a joke about Cook never giving throw-downs to players, in reference to how Root helped out during net sessions in Sydney this week in the absence of coaches.

Former England team-mates Moeen Ali (left) and Alastair Cook (right) had an awkward chat


Moeen (left) took aim at Cook’s (right) man-management skills during the on-air exchange

The all-rounder then said: ‘Rooty has more of an emotional attachment with the players, he spends more time with the players.’ 

That prompted a shocked Cook to ask: ‘Are you just criticising my captaincy?’

Moeen 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.’

Cook, whose record of 59 Tests in charge of England has just been surpassed by current captain Root, replied: ‘I have to say I never dropped Mo. So he might criticise me but I never dropped him. How many times did Rooty drop you?’

Moeen hit back and said: ‘That’s true but he also batted me from one to nine in my first year of international cricket.’

Moeen (left) and Cook pictured during the Lord’s Ashes Test against Australia back in 2015

The pair, and a koala, during a 2017 visit to the Billabong Sanctuary in Townsville, Australia

Cook then aimed his own dig at his colleague, saying: ‘I was giving him a chance. I couldn’t work whether he was a tail-ender or an opening batsman so I was trying to find the perfect role.’

Sensing the pair had more to get off their chest, host Matt Smith invited his studio guests to air any further grievances.

Moeen said: ‘To go back to my point, Rooty was a little bit more involved with the players, in my opinion. Not that Cooky didn’t care but I think Rooty is a bit more ‘arm over the shoulder’ kind of guy.’

Cook added: ‘I’m not sure how to take this anymore. I’ve just come back from a nice holiday and I’ve walked straight into Moeen Ali off his long run.’

Joe Root has come under pressure during the Ashes debacle but was favoured by Moeen




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