Tim Paine said Australia's senior players had let the side down in their fifth straight loss as England sealed their first series whitewash in any format over Australia and admitted his side had "folded" under pressure throughout the series.
After setting England a target of 206 for victory, Australia fought their way back, thanks largely to the sharp pace of Billy Stanlake, and gave themselves a shot at victory when they reduced England to 114 for 8. But they were unable to dislodge a rampant Jos Buttler or deprive him of a batting partner.
"That one stung," Paine told Sky Sports. "Not as difficult as Trent Bridge but we've certainly been taught a lesson by a world-class outfit."
"I thought we were in trouble to be honest at the half-way mark. But our bowlers came out and committed to what we spoke about really well in that first hour we were out there.
"But once put under pressure whether with bat, ball or in the field, we've folded a bit, if we're completely honest."
"We could have got a couple more wickets. That would have been nice. I thought we had them under pressure. Rashid and Jos played really well but we didn't get enough balls in the right areas at those two in particular and they batted well. And when we've been under pressure in this series we haven't responded as well as we would have liked so that's a lesson we've got to learn."
Paine's own form has come under scrutiny in his first ODI series as Australia captain. He has averaged just 7.20 from five matches and admitted his ODI captaincy role will be up for discussion after this series.
"I haven't thought about it to be honest," he said. "All I know is I was coming here to do this series and I've said a few times before when you are my age it's a bit foolish to look ahead. Certainly I am really looking forward to captaining the Test team and continuing how I have been playing in that format. But where I go with the rest of my cricket is something we will discuss in the coming weeks.
"If I'm honest, I've probably let the pressure get to me a bit this series. When you're not performing things are hard at international level."
Travis Head's half-century and solid contributions from Alex Carey - who would likely take the gloves in the ODI side should Paine step down or be dropped - and D'Arcy Short were among the bright spots for Australia on what has been a testing tour.
"Even today we see Carey and Short - two really good young players - play really well after our senior players probably let us down," said Paine. "Billy Stanlake and Ashton Agar... there's some real talent in this group. If we can get our best team on the park with some of these young players, anything is possible.
"I've heard a few times that this team doesn't have a plan, or it doesn't know where it's going, but we have a clear direction. We know we are a long way off the mark at the moment but the World Cup is not for 12 months and we know when we get our best team on the park, playing our best cricket, we are going to be right in the thick of it."