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From Amy Lofthouse
BBC Sport at The Oval
Australia have”unfinished business” and can”consistently improve,” says captain Tim Paine, after the attracted Ashes series guaranteed that the tourists took the urn home.
England won the fifth and final Test at The Oval by 135 runs to draw the series 2-2 and deny Australia a first series victory in England.
Paine said the series wasn’t”an ending” for his captaincy and he had”a little piece to devote that distance”.
“The urn is what we came to have,” he advised Test Match Special.
“We knew the principles across the Ashes and also a draw is good enough.
“I think there’s tons of improvement within this facet. There is always things we can get and there is always firm we can attend to.
“I am anticipating a tiny bit more.”
Summer, paine was appointed Australia captain in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal at March 2018 and oversaw the house of last year.
Asked about the way the team had turned around because the events at South Africa, Paine said:”It began before this Ashes series. It had been there before the World Cup in the lead-up.
“From where we have come , to make a World Cup semi-final and keep the Ashes is still a very big accomplishment from exactly what this group has been through.”
Batsman Steve Smith won the Compton-Miller medal for his astonishing series which saw him score 774 runs at 110.57.
Smith returned to Test cricket at Edgbaston after serving a year’s ban because of his role at the affair that was ball-tampering and has been booed during the opening stages of the sequence.
However, he was given a standing ovation by the audience at The Oval after England claimed his wicket.
“I discovered I got applause. This was a nice reception I got now and it meant a great deal.
“The series has ebbed and flowed. I have loved every minute and I’m very proud of the way I have been in a position to functionality for Australia and also to deliver the urn home.
“You always need to get better as a player. Keep working hard and it’s too much.”
Smith also thanked his family for their support, Dani, along with his wife .
“It is our very first wedding anniversary today. She would hate me if I didn’t mention that,” Smith said in his post-match news conference.
“The support she’s given me , I can’t thank her enough.”
Paine added that the experience in England of keeping the Ashes would be something he’d”never forget”.
“I didn’t think I’d still be doing this [that the captaincy], in all honesty,” he added.
“I’m blessed to be in the place I am in.”
Australia leave England together with all the planet’s number one batsman at Smith and number one bowler, Pat Cummins.
However their batting has fought – with the exception of Marnus and Smith Labuschagne, their top and middle order have not contributed.
David Warner ends the series with 95 runs from 10 Test innings – the lowest return for any opener at a five Test series – and Australia have tried two openers at Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris, neither of whom have particularly impressed.
Matthew Wade bookended the tour with centuries but there are questions over Warner, Usman Khawaja and Travis Head.
Australia will, however, leave about not being able to close a series win.
“Tim Paine is going to have a few nightmares about this toss,” former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath said, after Paine opted to bowl first on a great batting track.
“England acquired a whole lot from this previous Test and 2-2 is not too far off the mark.”
Analysis and view by the BBC’s cricket correspondent.
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