I'm an Australian. I'm still an Australian fan, even after 80.15. So out of everyone in the cricketing universe, I should be used to the selection of massive knobheads in international cricket teams on specious selectorial logic (see: Maxwell, Glenn). But when it comes to an individual's sheer-knobheadery-to-actual-performance ratio, there is but one man who stands head and beard above the other contenders:
Anton ****ing Devcich.
By all accounts, he's pretty talented. 'World at his feet if only he had two braincells to rub together', I've more-or-less heard it described as (and let's face it, if David Warner can be a successful Test opening batsman having been blessed with a questionable amount of grey matter [see: Twitter], you don't need much more than two). Yet he averages barely above 25 in FC cricket, seemingly possesses the same selective colourblindness that so horrendously afflicts Aaron Finch in the longest format of the game, and bowls some dodgy left arm darts that are neither threatening nor containing. He's mediocre bits-and-pieces personified.
Now don't get me wrong, I love the old bits-and-pieces all-rounder. Ian Harvey was one of my favourite cricketers as a youngster, despite never making an ODI 50 or taking an ODI 5-fer. Chris Harris and his eccentric dibbly-dobbly seamers were always fun to watch, plus he had a fantastic middle name. And in more recent times, I've become known as one of the biggest Chris Woakes fans in the Southern Hemisphere.
But, in spite of my weird attraction to the Scott Kremerskothens and Colin de Grandhommes of the world, I have nothing but scorn for Mr. Devcich.
The reasoning, I believe, is simple. While Harvey, Woakes and Harris were all guys giving one hundred and ten million percent (take that, Doug Bollinger!), endearing themselves to fans by working their arses off to be less ****, Devcich is just an absolute arse of a bloke. 'BigCall13', as he brands himself on Twitter, is prime douchebag. He plainly doesn't give a **** about his First Class ****tiness, knowing he can dine out on his decent T20 record and misguided perceptions of New Zealand as a cricketing backwater always trying to punch above its weight in the hope of temporarily transcending mediocrity. Newsflash mate, that doesn't make you any good.
His Champions League campaign was built on him riding the coattails of Kane Williamson, who unlike Devcich, actually works hard to complement his natural talent, and apparently based on this (and his T20i record, which looks impressive with an average of 45 and strike rate of 160. From two games. One of which was against Bangladesh. On a highway where the Banglas almost chased down 200), people are considering him for a Test spot. "He knows how to perform on the big stage! Look at his T20i record!" I can almost hear them cry, which would be somewhat hilarious considering Devcich averages exactly 2.00 in ODIs against Top 8 nations (admittedly from a tiny sample size, but one 50% larger than his entire T20i career).
Now I understand that finding an opening partner for Tom Latham isn't exactly easy. I'm a Jeet Raval man but Athlai reckons he's a myth. Phlegm's a Guptill supporter (mostly for trollz, I assume), but Blocky will write War and Peace on why he sucks. Daniel Flynn's a rubbish Khawaja knock-off, and HamRud's a bit too sensitive-new-age-Warner but without the Australian's success; meanwhile, most Plunkett Shield runs get made in the engine room these days. But if Devcich somehow comes into contention, it sends a message of everything that is wrong with world cricket. Douchebags with hand-eye coordination and an absence of any ****s to give being gifted Test caps (because 'X-Factor'), when guys who've worked their arses off to actually do something at that level get nothing. It's the funky type of selection that ruins teams and condemns them to subcontinent loss after subcontinent loss (seriously, trust me -- I'm Australian).
If you're going to be bits-and-pieces, you have to prove that you actually want to be good and work hard to that end. If you're going to be a douchebag, you have to actually perform and earn people's respect that way. Anton Devcich, you do neither. You're just lucky that you have the power of the Agribusiness behind you.
Now stop trying to look like Daniel Vettori; the beard doesn't disguise the fact that your left arms darts are rubbish or that your attitude stinks.
And learn how to eat a Georgie Pie, ffs, that's an absolutely pathetic attempt.