ICC introduced the ICC Test ranking in 2003 to increase the competition between the Test-playing nation. 12 nations have got Test status and are ranked under this system.
So let’s look at the top 5 longest streaks as a number one team in the ICC Test rankings (2003-2020):
1) Australia (74 months)
With the start of Test rankings, Australia was leading the Test ranking, and it went on for 74 months, from June 2003 to July 2009. South Africa dethroned Australia in August 2009.
2) India (43 months)
India had at the top spot for the good 43 months from October 2006 to April 2020. Then in May 2020 Australia have taken over from India as the top-ranked side in the ICC Men’s Test Team Rankings.
3) India & South Africa (21 months)
From November 2009 to August 2011, India was at the top of the table for the good 21 months. While South Africa was at the top of the ICC Test ranking from August 2012 to May 2014.
4) South Africa (18 months)
From July 2014 to January 2016, South Africa enjoyed a good 18 months as a number one Test team, later India took over as number one Test team.
5) England (12 months)
After taking over from India as number one Test team, England held the position for 12 months from August 2011 to August 2012.