Zimbabwe ready to deal with pressures

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Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura says his side is ready to accept the favourites tag for the upcoming ODI series against Ireland, starting in Harare on Friday.

The African side, who will play three ODIs against the Irish, will go into the series as favourites a they have more experienced players and are playing at home.

Zimbabwe are not accustomed to wearing the favourites tag, usually being the underdog in almost all their matches, but Chigumbura feels they can deal with the different pressures.

The Zimbabwe captain said: "When we go out there we want to win every game that we play. We've got more expectation on us to win these games against Ireland, so obviously there's a little more pressure on us.

"So we have to rise to the occasion. It's an important series for us. I'm sure if we play our best cricket we'll come out on top. We've been looking forward to this series. It's going to be hard cricket."

Zimbabwe also find themselves in the unfamiliar position of having to manage player workloads as they have had a decent amount of cricket over the last few months.

The Southern African team have played India, New Zealand and faced Pakistan as recently as last week , while Afghanistan are already in the country ahead of their ODI series after Ireland.

On managing workloads, Chigumbura said: "We had a day off after Pakistan. There's lots of cricket, especially this month, but that's what we've been asking for for a long time: to have more games.

"Now we've got them so we just have to make sure that we deal well with the short breaks that we've got in between."

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