After sealing an Ashes series with three innings victories, one would think England were at their peak. England skipper Andrew Strauss', however, claimed the contrary, effectively serving a warning to the current top-two test teams in International cricket - India and South Africa.

Strauss' claim that most of his team would be hitting their peak time in the next couple of years will send shivers down the spines of other nations, especially as it would be no understatement to say that Australia were blown away from their own home by this England side.

England are in good hands under a determined leader like Strauss who will ensure his team doesn't bask in the moment but will work towards the future as well. With home Test series against Sri Lanka and current World No. 1 India to come this summer, the team has to stay focused if they are to make that No. 1 spot.

We've always got to be thinking about how we can improve and get better and hopefully one or two guys will be sticking their hands up and saying 'I can add something to this team as well', Strauss said. While I'm captain of the England side, you're not doing your job if you're not looking ahead to what's coming up and trying to keep the guys improving and going forward.

People will now have high expectations of us, and we're going to have to work very hard to live up to them. But we're as confident as I've ever seen in an England team.

Strauss has reason to believe his side can conquer the No.1 spot considering his wealth of quality. His opening partner, Alastair Cook, was named man-of-the-series with a top score 766 runs at an average of 127.66 - the second highest score in an Ashes series by an Englishman - while in the bowling department, James Anderson was the leading wicket taker in the series with 24 wickets - the most by any England bowler since Frank Tyson took 28 in 1954-5.

What is most impressive about the side is their continuous flow of runs with all starting batsmen, except the now retired Paul Collingwood, scoring centuries in the series.

For me the most impressive thing is the number of runs we've scored consistently which has been a bit of a weakness for us in the past, Strauss said. In that sense I'm excited about what we can achieve in the future. The bowlers to be able to perform (like how they did) that day in day out over five Test matches, is an exceptional effort.

It's when you most need people to stand deliver and you're always wondering at the back of your mind, are people going to do that? But you've seen the guys have all done that.

The England squad also have strength in depth as shown by Chris Tremlett who more than replaced the injured Stuart Broad, with 17 wickets at 23.35, while Tim Bresnan joined in at Melbourne and Sydney Tests to great effect with 11 wickets at 19.54.

We've got some good depth and we're going to need it because the schedule is very tight and there are going to be injuries, admitted Strauss. Other guys are going to put their hands up and want to be part of the team.

One of the striking features in the series, especially in Melbourne and Sydney, were the number of English supporters who had arrived to cheer their team on - the final two days in Sydney could have been easily mistaken for London, if not for the weather! Strauss was also aware of the number of English supporters back home who deprived themselves of sleep to follow the team's outings.

It's hard to appreciate what it's like back in England. You get text messages through, people saying 'this is amazing' and that they haven't had any sleep for seven weeks. It's a brilliant thing for English sport when we do well, in cricket and other sports. It does give everyone a lift, certainly in the bleak midwinter.

Strauss, despite being only the third England captain to win an Ashes series both home and away, was modest (and cautious) about leading his side to defend the urn back in England in 2013.

I think the more you do the job, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you develop your tactics, your thinking the way you interact with people, he said. Definitely experience accounts for a huge amount. I've been doing the job for a couple of years now, hopefully there's a couple left there as well. But I think when I retire, I'll sit back and think this was one of the most special times of my career, definitely.

It has been a long wait for England, 24 years to be precise, to retain the urn down under. However, the manner in which they did so will allow English fans to be optimistic about their cricketing future for a long time to come.