New Delhi: Just ahead of the ICC World T20, Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi came under scanner for his 'more love from India' remark.
On Sunday, Afridi said that Pakistani cricketers receive more love in India than back home, inviting criticism from former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad. Even a petition has been filed against him in a court.
However, former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar feels it was just an attempt by Afridi to win Indian crowd.
"Emotions run high before India-Pakistan match. What Shahid said was a good way to say nice things about Indian public. The crowd at Eden will not be hostile towards Pakistan.
"If you have hostile crowd, it can also lift your game but if you are overwhelmed by a hostile crowd, you don't play your natural game, you play into crowd hands. This is a fine way to win the Eden crowd. Having played in the IPL, he may have meant what he said," Gavaskar told NDTV.
The epic encounter between the arch-rivals India and Pakistan is scheduled to take place at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on March 19.
The little master also warned India ahead of their opening match against New Zealand by stating that Kiwis might pull a surprise.
"New Zealand play under the radar. Expectations are less, so they can come and surprise. It will be a cracker of a game against India. They have fabulous strokemakers. Trent Boult is there and Tim Southee, who had played in IPL. He knows how to bowl in Indian conditions. They can spring a surprise," added Gavaskar.
(With PTI inputs)