There are two things Australian selectors really crave: a world-class allrounder and a top-grade wrist spinner. Like for the country's farmers, there have been periods of intense rain and severe drought for leggies over the past century.
At its peak in the mid-1930s, Australia could call on Bill O'Reilly and Clarrie Grimmett to form one of the most potent slow-bowling combinations in history. Facing any of the great fast-bowling partnerships was no more frightening than running into this pair. O'Reilly was considered the greatest spinner the country had produced until Shane Warne arrived, while Grimmett took wickets at will.
Bert "Dainty" Ironmonger, a left-armer, was one of their contemporaries in an era where quality twirlers dropped from the sky. Arthur Mailey and Chuck Fleetwood-Smith are other respected spinners from the 1920s and 1930s who missed the list.
After Richie Benaud, who takes his place in the allrounders' section, there was such a long gap that there were fears the art had died. Up popped Warne, who revived the tradition for 16 years, and Stuart MacGill joined in before another fallow period. MacGill didn't make this famous five, which includes only one offspinner. That spot is held by Hugh Trumble, the only representative from the 19th century. In voting for these performers there is another important question: is one spinner enough in a team like this, or should there be two?
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo