London: England captain Alastair Cook has admitted that he is `he has never felt more nervous` ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final against South Africa, despite backing his team to withstand the pressure.
Stating that the `quarter-final` victory over New Zealand was most stressful moment of his reign, Cook said that he expected the Wednesday game to be worse, although he added that he is proud of the way that England won the crucial clash against the Kiwis.
Despite being nervous, Cook is confident that he and his men will control their nerves when it matters in Wednesday game at The Oval, adding that he is sure that his side can stick to their game-plan and perform against a Proteas team known to handle knock-out matches badly.
According to Cook, the New Zealand game was a good test to see their standing as a side in terms of having to deliver under pressure, adding that he is impressed by the way the players delivered under pressure and managed to retain their calm with both bat and ball.
Despite not having played in any ICC global event before, Cook takes England into their fifth semi-final on home soil with two wins and two defeats from the previous four attempts since 1975.
However, Cook is determined to consign that to the past and instead focus on getting the best out of his team on the day.