Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali engaged in a heated on-air debate during the ongoing second Test between England and New Zealand at Trent Bridge, about Ali’s comment on the captaincy difference between Joe Root and Alastair Cook.
Some time back, Ali appearing on a TV show for the Ashes series, had said Joe Root was a better captain than Alastair Cook as he had a more emotional attachment with the players. Cook, who was also present along with Ali on the show, responded: "Are you just criticizing my captaincy?"
Moeen admitted that he did "a little bit” and added he performed better under Root.
Cook, then, defended himself by asking Moeen on the number of times Root had dropped him and the all-rounder, reverting to his original point, had said, "That’s true but you also batted me from 1 to 9 in my first year of international cricket."
This conversation resumed when Cook and Moeen were commentating in the second Test between England and New Zealand and the duo was asked to clear up the misunderstanding during their Ashes stint, and it was Cook who began the conversation.
“I was coming back from a holiday, walking straight back to the studio at midnight. I met the all-smiling Mo (Moeen), as he always is, very happy. Anyway, half an hour into the shift, he basically told everyone who is watching and listening, 'I wasn't a very good captain and I wouldn't be a very good coach'. That's kind of how it went. So I actually feel as if I have nothing to defend here,” Cook said on BBC's Test Match Special.
Moeen then clarified his comment, saying, he had only mentioned that Root had “a lot more empathy” for players and that he didn't compare Cook with the former England Test skipper.
“It was a little bit out of context. I was saying basically that Rooty had a lot more empathy for players than you did! And I never mentioned once that you're not a good captain or if you are or aren't better than Rooty. And then, you took it personally to heart and it went viral,” said Moeen.