Australia v Pakistan Tests

No joking, it's the Turtle and the Reverend

Australia's Test match opening combination have both been crowned with new nicknames, much to the amusement of their teammates

Dave Middleton

14 December 2016, 02:26 PM

It sounds like the start of a bad joke: a reverend and a turtle walk into a bar. Except this is no joke – it's Australia's Test match opening combination.

David Warner revealed last week he has been rebranded from 'The Bull' to 'The Reverend' by his teammates, the in-joke amongst teammates prompting a preacher celebration for his ODI centuries in Canberra and Melbourne, and sending Steve Smith into fits of laughter at the post-series press conference.

Now Warner has lifted the lid on more inner sanctum shenanigans, with Test newcomer and opening batsman Matthew Renshaw quickly given the moniker of 'The Turtle'.

But Warner insists it is not a commentary on his slow-paced scoring in his debut Test match, where Renshaw answered the call for batsmen to put a high price on their wicket and crawled to 34 from 137 balls at a strike rate of just 24.82.

Aussie crowd urges watchful Renshaw on

"He sort of goes into his shell when he's around me and Steve (Smith) and around the other guys, he's a bit out there," Warner revealed on Brisbane's 4BC radio.

"He's a person you have to actually get to know and understand.

"Me and Steve have only played one game with him, so he's sort of in his shell a little bit still.

"We're waiting to see the real Matt Renshaw that we know on the cricket field that the guys say he brings to the table."

Warner's own transformation from head-strong Bull to evangelical Reverend has been generating plenty of mirth in the Australian dressing room.

"It's very bizarre (but) it totally doesn't bother me. One of the boys in passing comments said it, and a couple of guys got some shirts made up … it was quite comical," Warner said.

Warner tons up to continue incredible form

Jokes aside, Warner's transformation has been a revelation that has seen him rack up a record-breaking seven one-day international centuries in 2016, and he puts it all down to the change of mindset that has earned him a change of nickname.

"It's more about being a bit more positive and proactive, taking a more positive approach on everything I do and trying to negate the negative stuff around and sort of conserving energy for processing while you're out there in the heat of the battle and getting your job done and being grateful for everything we've got," Warner said.

But not everything has gone Warner's way, with Test rookie Renshaw getting the jump on the vice-captain for a coveted spot in the field.

Renshaw slips into the groove as a Test cricketer

"He's slotted into first slip which I was a bit disappointed with – I thought I might have got in there," Warner said.

"But, look, he's got good hands, a great young kid and a talent of the future and that's why he's been picked."

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