Ponting says Buchanan's boot camp helped him deal Johnson

Ponting, who shared a tent with out-of-form Mitchell Johnson during that camp which was criticised by Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill, said the rapport made with players during that time has come in handy in the ongoing Ashes.

"That camp was really beneficial to help me understand personalities... Mitch was one of the guys," Ponting said.

"I've learnt a lot about him and that was a really important phase in my captaincy. It was the first time in a number of years we had all the 25 contracted players together and we were taken out of our comfort zones," he was quoted as saying by the 'Herald Sun'.

"We got to know a lot about how different guys react in different situations. We were doing some stuff we wouldn't normally do and experiencing things we wouldn't normally experience so it was good for all of us," he added.

Johnson had conceded 331 runs for eight wickets in the first two Tests.

"Everyone I have played with always go through periods in their careers where they don't feel totally on top of things," Ponting said.

"With Mitchell it's been about giving him a pat on the back and letting him know we are all trying to help and support him. We know Mitchell is still relatively new to the game and sometimes the more information you give can cloud his mind a little bit," Ponting said.

"But when I have felt it appropriate I've given him a pat on the back and let him know he's got my support," he added.

During the camp, MacGill had aggravated a knee injury from which he never recovered while Michael Kasprowicz suffered a groin injury that hastened the end of his career. But it helped Ponting and Johnson to become friends.

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