Ponting ready to fly back

Ricky Ponting and Brendon McCullum are set to return home for national duty after Knight Riders' fourth IPL match against Mumbai Indians on April 29.

updated: April 24, 2008 11:45 IST
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Australia batsman Ricky Ponting is enjoying sharing the dressing room with youngsters in the Kolkata Knight Riders team and passing on his cricketing knowledge to them.

"I made it a point to mingle with all the youngsters here and pass on my knowledge of the game to them," Ponting said after offering batting tips to Bengal all-rounder and Knight Riders team-mate Laxmi Ratan Shukla.

Shukla and Ponting were seen having a long chat at the Eden Gardens on Thursday during a practice session.

"I enjoyed sharing my experience with them," Ponting said.

Ponting and dashing Kiwi wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum are set to return home for national duty after Knight Riders' fourth IPL match against Mumbai Indians on April 29.

"Can't help it. Myself and McCullum have to go. But it's good for the team that David Hussey will be here."

Ponting hoped that the Kolkata Knight Riders would be able to get good replacements. "They're trying to get two replacements. I'm sure it will work out well," he said.

Ponting, who is going through a lean patch with the willow, had a prolonged net session under the supervision of coach John Buchanan. Later, the duo also had a lengthy discussion.

"John's tips always help. I need to get back among the runs. I'm practising very hard and it's good to get back to working with your old coach," he said. Ponting pointed out that he had been the victim of a bad decision during his side's second match against Deccan Chargers.

"But in cricket one has to accept such things and carry on," he said.

Ponting felt though he might not have scored too many runs in the first match on April 18 against Bangalore Royal Challengers, he played an important role by giving McCullum company in the middle.

McCullum and Ponting had shared a 51-run stand.

Meanwhile, Buchanan said a clear leader in the tournament would emerge after the next three or more matches.

"By then all the teams would have adapted to the format," said the lanky coach.

Buchanan did not think the Knight Riders have peaked too early. "It's good that we have peaked now. We need it to get the rhythm."

When asked if it made sense to hold the nets under the scorching sun, Buchanan said, "I want the boys to get a feel of the heat. We will play six more matches here and the temperature will soar in the coming days."

He described Chennai Super Kings, which his team would play next on April 26, as a 'very good side'.

Asked about the wicket he expected in Chennai, Buchanan said, "I think it will be a batting strip."