Ponting aiming to peak at Champions Trophy
Captain Ricky Ponting admitted Australia's one-day series victory over England could never compensate the pain of losing the Ashes.
The tourists missed out on an unprecedented 7-0 series whitewash as England clung on for a tense four-wicket win at the Riverside.
"We would have lost the one-day series 7-0 to win the Ashes," said Ponting.
"The Ashes is the one series that every Australian wants to be part of, it's the pinnacle of Test match cricket."
He added: "All we could do after that series was to put it behind us and move on and we've done that really well.
"Some fresh faces have done really well, we've played really well throughout the series and we have a lot of positives coming out of the last few weeks."
The defeat in Chester-le-Street means Australia slip from first to third in the one-day rankings as they defend the Champions Trophy.
However, Ponting questioned the validity of a seven-match series with every other major Test-playing nation in South Africa preparing at altitude for the two-week tournament.
"I've always been against seven-match series," the 34-year-old said.
"Every other team is in South Africa playing practice matches while we're here finishing off this series. We know the reasons for it but seven games head-to-head is a bit too many.
"We can't get carried away with what we've done, we've got a few big games coming up in South Africa."
All-rounder Cameron White was named man of the series for his assured performances batting up the order while Ponting was rested for the first three matches.
"It gave me a chance at the top of the order, I haven't done much of that but hopefully if any of the other players are resting, I can cover from any spot from one to seven," said White.
"Our job was to provide plenty of energy to the group, we provided a kick-start at the series and it rolled on from there."