New Delhi:Legendary Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram said he was surprised by left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan's omission from India's 30-member probables list for the Champions Trophy to be held in South Africa in September.
"I have no doubt that Irfan is a quality bowler and will comeback to the India team soon. He should not have been dropped from the (Champions Trophy) probables list," Akram said.
"Had I been a selector, I would have included Irfan in the team. But he is young, just 24-years-old and has lot of time to play for his country," said the fast bowling great, who has 414 wickets from 104 Tests to his credit.
The BCCI selection committee-led by Krishnamachari Srikkanth last month left Irfan, who has 100 Test and 152 ODI wickets in his kitty, out of the Champions Trophy probables list due to his scratchy form.
The left-arm pacer's omission from the squad also sparked off a tiny controversy with his brother Yusuf blaming the selectors for dropping Irfan from the probables list on non- cricketing grounds, a claim from which he later retracted.
Akram also advised the Baroda pacer to cut down on his pace and in turn concentrate on swing to return to his hay days.
"He should not try to bowl faster, rather should remember he is an effective swing bowler. Irfan needs proper guidance at this point of his career because that will help him to get the required confidence," said Akram, who is here as a bowling variation and strategy coach in the newly-established Gatorade Centre for Pace Excellence.
However, the cricketer-turned-commentator has no doubt that the present Indian pace attack is fast becoming a potent force in world cricket.
"I think, India has a good pace bowling attack now. The team has Zaheer (Khan), who is a quality pacer and doing good jobs," Akram said.
"Ishant (Sharma) is a bit down but will hopefully regain his rhythm soon. And there are also young bowlers like R P Singh who can bring in balance in the team's attack," he added.