5) Australia: 74 months
Australia were the dominant force in the game in large parts of the 90s and early 2000s. Such was their dominance that when the same ‘ranking formula’ was applied to games before 2003, it was revealed that Australia were actually No. 1 for 112 months between April 2000 and August 2009.
The foundation was set by the mercurial Steve Waugh, who instilled a steeliness in his players that the game had barely seen in the past. When he passed the mantle onto Ricky Ponting, he accepted it gratefully and went on to lead the Australian team into many successes.
For large periods, Ponting had players including the likes of Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath to call upon. Absolutely terrifying. Barring the loss against England in the 2005 Ashes and India in the Border Gavaskar Trophy of 2008-09, this team hardly skipped a beat.