Steve Smith admitted he was "cooked" after helping Australia retain the Ashes with a 2-2 series draw against England.

Smith made his lowest score of the series – 23 – as the tourists slumped to a 135-run defeat in the fifth Test at The Oval on Sunday.

It gave England a 2-2 series draw, but that result was enough for Australia to retain the urn, with Smith awarded the Compton-Miller Medal as player of the series.

Smith, who made 774 runs at an average of 110.57 during the series, said he was exhausted.

"I guess it was a nice reception as I walked off. It would have been nice if I had a few more runs under my belt in this game as I walked off. It was a nice reception," he told a news conference.

"I've given it my all since I've been here, the last four and a half months and every Test match that we've played.

"I didn't have much left to give today, I'm pretty cooked to be honest, mentally and physically.

"I'm looking forward to a nice couple of weeks rest now before getting back into the Australian summer."

Smith carried Australia throughout the series despite missing the third Test due to concussion.

Australia captain Tim Paine said there was plenty of room for improvement from his team, acknowledging Smith's heroics.

"We've still got a way to go, Steve had an unbelievably good series and won us a couple of Tests by himself," he said.

"We've got some parts we need to improve but I think if we can click them into gear while we've got Steve at the height of his powers and the pace attack we've got then in the next few years we're going to be a very difficult team to beat."

Trevor Bayliss praised England's character and felt a drawn Ashes series against Australia was a "fair" result.

England secured a 135-run victory in the fifth Test at The Oval on Sunday to see the series drawn 2-2, although that was enough for Australia to retain the urn.

Bayliss, the outgoing England head coach, accepted his side were below their best during the series, but he lauded their response.

"It was a fantastic effort to draw the series, not being able to win the Ashes, but there was still pride on the line for the boys and Test Championship points," he told Sky Sports.

"To finish off well and level up the series I think we showed a lot of character.

"Two-two was a fair score. Both teams had their chances to win the series. We certainly did not play as well as we would have liked to."

It wrapped up a busy year at home for England, who went into the Ashes on the back of a remarkable success as Cricket World Cup hosts.

While prepared, Bayliss said hosting both the World Cup and Ashes was even harder than expected.

"For all the coaching staff it has been a long summer," he said.

"We knew it was going to be challenging but having now been through it I'm not sure we realised how hard it would be.

"It was tough and we were so close to both trophies but we will take one."

Ben Stokes suggested an Ashes series draw was a fair result and was not interested in entertaining "what ifs" for England after they beat Australia in the fifth Test.

England ran out 135-run winners at the Oval on Sunday to earn a stalemate, yet their hopes of claiming the urn had been ended a week earlier in defeat at Old Trafford.

The triumph in the last Test was the first time England had got the better of a full-strength Australia, with the outstanding Steve Smith limited to just 23 in his second innings.

But Stokes did not want to reflect on how the series might have panned out had they produced the same level of performance earlier in the series.

"I don't think you can ever look back and say, 'What if this happened', 'What if we'd done this differently'," he said, having been named England's player of the series by Australia coach Justin Langer.

"I think it's just been a great series of cricket, to be honest. It's ebbed and flowed in certain areas throughout every game. I think that's shown in the end result with it being 2-2.

"There's been two very evenly matched teams and two very competitive teams, as Ashes cricket always is. I think everyone's been treated to another great Ashes series."

Stokes handed England a historic one-wicket win in the third Test at Headingley with a remarkable unbeaten knock of 135.

 

But having earlier suggested it would mean little if England did not regain the Ashes, the all-rounder indicated he still felt that way.

"It'll probably be something to look back on in a few years' time," he said.

"You know the saying that you'd probably give it all back if it meant we ended up lifting the urn at the end. But I'll come to that innings in a few years' time."

Stokes said he and the team are "100 per cent" behind captain Joe Root, while he picked out Rory Burns and Joe Denly for praise at the top of the order.

"Everyone who has come into the Test team has put their hand up and shown they can compete at the highest level," he said.

As well as Burns and Denly, Jofra Archer was another breakout star, collecting the player of the match honours in the fifth Test after taking 6-62 in Australia's first innings.

Archer, who shone on his debut in the second Test but later lacked consistency, said: "I went wicketless in two innings as well, you know?

"It's Test cricket for you. One day, it might be there; the next innings, it might not be. You have to keep going.

"There will be good days and there will be bad days. It's not every day I'm going to get a wicket. I might go wicketless for a few innings. I have to keep going. The team will back me up regardless."

Captain Tim Paine acknowledged there were "mixed emotions" after Australia retained the Ashes but failed to win the series in England.

Paine's men became the first Australia team to retain the Ashes in England since 2001 after taking a 2-1 lead following the fourth Test at Old Trafford last week.

But the tourists were beaten by 135 runs in the fifth and final match at the Oval on Sunday, leaving the series level at 2-2.

While Australia will take the urn home again, Paine conceded the nature of the last Test was an undeniable frustration.

"There's no doubt today puts a bit of a dampener on it. There are some mixed emotions," he said. "There were some great learnings out of the whole Ashes series for us.

"But from where this group's come from, to come to England and retain the Ashes is still a huge deal.

"We've got a lot to be proud of - there's been some fantastic cricket throughout - but we've got some improvement, some learning to do, which is a great thing for us."

Paine only became skipper after Steve Smith was banned for 12 months due to his role in the ball-tampering scandal last year.

The 34-year-old was not interested in a discussion of his leadership in the immediate aftermath of this week's defeat.

"I wouldn't say [being captain in the Ashes] was an endgame. I didn't see it as a beginning, I didn't see it as an option not that long ago," he said.

"I'm loving the job I have at the moment. I feel there's a little bit of unfinished business with this team and where we're heading, and I've got a little bit of cricket left in this body. But I'm not looking too far down the track."

Paine's captaincy has been criticised at times, with his reviewing often considered particularly poor and his option to bowl first after winning the toss at the Oval costly.

He said: "I've got a couple [of regrets] - probably starting with the toss. But after that, you've got to give credit to England. They outplayed us.

"But we didn't take our chances on day one. I feel a bit sorry for our bowlers - they were fantastic all series and created plenty of chances on day one. We just didn't back them up.

"They got ahead in the game and took it away from us."

Paine admitted: "I can't read a pitch that well. We're trying to get to a point where the toss isn't that important to us. We've got to win games of cricket when you lose the toss.

"Whether you bat or bowl first is irrelevant - we've got to do it better than we did in this Test match."

Joe Root believes he is the man to lead England to Ashes glory in Australia despite failing to regain the urn for the second time as captain.

England were thrashed 4-0 away from home in 2017-18 and then saw Australia retain the Ashes on English soil for the first time since 2001 despite being held to a 2-2 series draw this year.

Skipper Root was in fine form as the hosts secured that stalemate on Sunday, bowling and fielding superbly in a 135-run success at the Oval.

Despite criticism of his role as skipper following England's defeats earlier in the series, Root is determined he can be at the forefront of the next Ashes in 2021-22.

"I'm very much driven towards that," he said. "We've got two and a half years to prepare well for it.

"It's going to be a real focus for English cricket to make sure we do everything we can to be in the best possible space for that.

"I want to be at the front of that, I want to be at the front of this team as, hopefully, the man to bring the Ashes back to England."

Sunday's victory over Australia was Trevor Bayliss' last match as England coach and Root paid tribute to the man who led the ODI team to their first Cricket World Cup triumph.

"Trevor is brilliant. He's added so much, he's obviously added a huge amount to this Test team," Root said. "He's been involved in some fantastic series wins both home and away - and what he's done for white-ball English cricket is phenomenal.

"He's very much valued in the dressing room, he's got a great sense of humour, he'll never give you anything.

"We all played for him this week and we're really pleased to send him off in great fashion."

Root added of Bayliss' relationship with Ben Stokes, England's player of the series and World Cup hero: "Over a period of time, you get very strong relationships with players and coaches.

"I think those two have gelled very well. There's a good element of banter between the two of them, they enjoy taking the mick out of one another, and there's a huge amount of respect as well.

"That counts for a huge amount. Trevor's done wonderful things and allowed guys like Ben to go and play in their way, to not be afraid to go and express themselves.

"Look where he is now and at his development over a four, five-year period. He's now one of the world's best all-rounders. It's one of the small things Trevor has done for English cricket."

Steve Smith insists he will continue to work to get better despite an outstanding series for Australia as they retained the Ashes in England.

Former captain Smith, making his Test return after a 12-month ban for his role in the team's ball-tampering scandal, was named the player of the series on Sunday after producing a number of sensational displays.

England earned a 2-2 draw by winning the fifth match at The Oval as Smith made just 23 in the second innings – by far his lowest total of the tour – yet his performances to that point had almost singlehandedly ensured the urn would return to Australia.

He scored 144 and 142 as Australia won the first Test at Edgbaston and then again starred in their second win, making 211 and 82 at Old Trafford in the fourth match.

Smith is not content to rest on his laurels following these efforts, though, determined he will do whatever he can to keep winning matches for Australia.

"Of course you always want to get better as a player," he said. "I'll continue to try to get better as long as I play.

"That's the key, I think. You've got to keep working hard. Nothing's ever too much, you've just got to keep working hard and try to do whatever you can to win the game for your team. I'll continue to do that as long as I can."

The ball-tampering scandal meant Smith was jeered by England fans throughout the tour, yet he received a standing ovation after being bowled out for the final time on Sunday.

"It meant a lot. It's been an amazing couple of months in England, with the World Cup and the Ashes. The cricket has been absolutely spectacular," he said.

"The series has ebbed and flowed throughout and there's been some terrific cricket played. I've loved every minute. I'm really proud to be able to perform for Australia and help to bring the urn home."

Australia came up 135 runs short of England in the fifth match, though, unable to secure even a fifth day as Smith rued his and his team-mates' failure to help Matthew Wade, who smashed 117.

"We thought the middle of the wicket still played pretty well and Matthew Wade showed that if you applied yourself and had really good plans and keep taking the game on, you can score runs," he added.

"He batted beautifully. Unfortunately, he didn't have many of us stick around with him long enough to help the team out.

"But England played some terrific cricket throughout this Test match and throughout this series as well. It's been great fun to be involved in."

England clinched the fifth and final Ashes Test by 135 runs on Sunday to draw the series in a fine response to Australia retaining the urn.

Another Steve Smith masterclass saw the tourists move 2-1 in front at Old Trafford to ensure the Ashes would be heading back to Australia, yet they could not end an 18-year wait for a series win in England.

Joe Root's side dominated at the Oval this week and Australia scarcely looked like troubling the target of 399 they were set when the hosts were bowled out early on day four.

Stuart Broad was in excellent form and, as well as continuing to dominate against the openers, he got the crucial wicket of Smith for a relatively paltry 23.

That set Australia up for a long, hard chase and Matthew Wade did the heavy lifting with a knock of 117.

But Root joined Broad and Co. in the attack and got Wade himself, as well as seeing his calls in the field - questioned earlier in the series - rewarded with good use of the other bowlers at his disposal.

Australia were struggling simply to see out the day and Root made catches from consecutive balls, giving England victory in their final match under Cricket World Cup-winning coach Trevor Bayliss.

The first Twenty20 international between India and South Africa on Sunday was abandoned due to torrential rain.

A downpour in Dharamsala meant play was called off even before the toss took place for the opening game in the three-match series.

There was a brief reprieve in the weather, allowing ground staff to try to clear the deluge from the covers and the outer field, but the match was called off at around 19:48 local time.

The teams will reconvene in Mohali for the second contest on Wednesday.

The T20 series concludes in Bengaluru on September 22 before the three-match Test begins in Visakhapatnam on October 2.

Steve Smith finally fell cheaply to Stuart Broad and Joe Root struck to leave England needing five wickets to beat Australia and draw the series on day four of the final Ashes Test at The Oval.

Broad dismissed David Warner (11) for a record-equalling seventh time in the series and Marcus Harris (nine) after the tourists were set a mammoth 399 to win the series 3-1 on a glorious Sunday in London, with England all out for 329 early on.

Marnus Labuschagne fell to Jack Leach and Broad (3-40) ended the prolific Smith's run of 10 consecutive Ashes half-centuries, removing the former captain for 23 early in the afternoon session.

Root saw the back of Mitchell Marsh and although Matthew Wade was unbeaten on 60 at tea, Australia were 167-5 still needing another 232 to avoid failing to secure a first Ashes series win in England since 2001 a week after retaining the urn.

England added only 16 runs to their overnight total after resuming on 313-8, Jofra Archer gloving Pat Cummins (2-67) behind and Nathan Lyon (4-69) seeing the back of Leach to end the innings.

Broad smashed Cummins for two sixes into the leg side before Leach fell and the paceman did more damage with the ball to leave Australia in trouble on 29-2.

Australia's highest opening stand of 18 was ended when Harris – who needed seven stitches in his left hand after splitting the webbing when dropping Joe Denly on day two – lost his off stump to Broad.

Warner was unable to end a miserable series with the bat on a high note, edging a fired-up Broad to Rory Burns in the slips and departing to a chorus of boos.

Jonny Bairstow produced a sharp piece of work to stump Labuschagne (14) off Leach and Smith was given a standing ovation as he followed soon after lunch, Ben Stokes taking a fine diving catch at leg gully when the top-ranked batsman tried to steer Broad around the corner.

Marsh (24) failed to make Chris Woakes pay for overstepping when he edged to Burns, the all-rounder prodding Root to Jos Buttler at short-leg soon after that reprieve.

England wasted a view a review when they thought Tim Paine should have been given leg before facing Archer and Wade held them up with an attacking knock, striking nine boundaries in a fifth Test half-century.

Stuart Broad continued his dominance of David Warner as England took three wickets before lunch on day four at The Oval after Australia were set a mammoth 399 for a series victory.

England were bowled out for 329 early on a glorious Sunday in London, setting the tourists – already assured of retaining the urn – an unlikely target to secure a 3-1 triumph.

The wondrous Steve Smith was unbeaten 18 on at the end of the morning session, but Australia – seeking a first series win in England since 2001 – were up against it on 68-3 after losing Warner, Marcus Harris and Marnus Labuschagne.

Broad matched a Test record by dismissing Warner (11) for the seventh time in the series and also got rid of Harris (nine) before Jack Leach sent Labuschagne (14) on his way.

England added only 16 runs to their overnight total after resuming on 313-8, Jofra Archer gloving Pat Cummins (2-67) behind and Nathan Lyon (4-69) seeing the back of Leach to end the innings.

Broad smashed Cummins for two sixes into the leg side before Leach fell and the paceman did more damage with the ball to leave Australia in trouble on 29-2.

Australia's highest opening stand of 18 was ended when Harris – who needed seven stitches in his left hand after splitting the webbing when dropping Joe Denly on day two – lost his off stump to the paceman.

Warner was unable to end a miserable series with the bat on a high note, edging Broad to Rory Burns in the slips and departing to a chorus of boos.

The prolific Smith got off the mark with a glorious cover drive off Archer and was still there at lunch along with Matthew Wade (10no) after Labuschagne was smartly stumped by Jonny Bairstow when Leach got one to turn past his outside edge.

Australia have been set 399 runs to win the Ashes series 3-1 after England were bowled out early on day four of the final Test at The Oval.

England were dismissed for 329 in their second innings after resuming on 313-8 on a glorious Sunday in London, Jofra Archer falling for only three before Jack Leach (nine) was dismissed by Nathan Lyon (4-69).

Australia successfully reviewed after Archer was given not out by umpire Marais Erasmus when he gloved Pat Cummins (2-67) behind in the second over of the day.

Stuart Broad smashed Cummins for two sixes in an over but was left stranded on 12 when Leach was taken by Josh Hazlewood attempting to hit Lyon for a boundary.

Australia face a huge run chase under blue skies as they eye a first Ashes win in England since 2001, with Joe Root's side strong favourites to salvage a 2-2 draw a week after a defeat at Old Trafford gave them no chance of regaining the urn.

Tim Paine joked he will enrol on an umpiring course after conceding Australia are having "a mare" with their reviews during the Ashes.

Australia finished day three of the fifth and final Test trailing England by 382 runs. The tourists need to avoid defeat to win the series outright having already retained the urn but endured a challenging day in the field as England closed on 318-8.

Joe Denly was the star for England with 94, though Australia could have dismissed him for considerably fewer runs had they reviewed after Mitchell Marsh struck the opener on the pads.

Denly was given not out on the field but Hawk-Eye showed the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps, as it would later in the innings when Australia again chose not to review after Nathan Lyon hit Jos Buttler, who made a fluent 46, in front.

Asked in a media conference what he can do to improve his judgment, the Australia skipper responded sarcastically: "I'm going to do some umpire school when I get home, I'll enrol in a level three umpiring course and see if I can get them right.

"I'm getting it wrong, I don't know what else to say, we're having a mare. We've got it wrong, we're not deliberately getting together and saying, 'Gee I reckon that's out Gaz, you want to refer it? Nah let's let him keep batting.'

"We're getting it wrong, it happens, it's fast, it's a tough job. As I've said throughout the whole Test series, I've got a new respect for umpiring, particularly in Test cricket because it's a bloody hard job.

"For years players have whinged about umpiring and now we've got it in our hands a little bit and we're finding that it's hard."

Australia appeared tired and frustrated as their long and chastening day in the field dragged on, though Paine had no issues with his side's application on Saturday.

"The last hour of today, our energy is still really good in the field, our bowlers have run in every single day we've asked them to, they've done a fantastic job," added Paine.

"The only thing that's been a little bit disappointing in this Test match is our catching and our referrals."

Joe Denly missed out on a first Test century but the England batsman could still reflect on a "pretty special couple of days" on the field and in his personal life.

Denly fell six runs shy of a hundred on day three of the fifth and final Ashes Test, edging Peter Siddle to Steve Smith in the slips.

However, his 94 still proved crucial in helping England build a massive lead of 382 at The Oval as they look to draw the series after Australia retained the urn at Old Trafford.

The score was the highest of Denly's brief Test career and came after he left the ground on Friday to witness the birth of his second child.

Denly missed the birth of his first child by a few minutes having received a call from his wife early in the morning when he was playing for Kent at Derby.

However, he was there on time to see his wife bring a baby girl into the world and was able to appreciate the big picture despite the disappointment of not reaching three figures.

"I obviously headed back a couple of days ago, fortunate enough to be able to leave early," Denly told a media conference. "I missed the birth of my first child so it was good to get there and see my little girl come into the world, pretty special couple of days.

"It would have been nice to get to that milestone having worked so hard to get into that position, but England are in a very good position, going into day four hopefully we can get a few more runs and put them under pressure."

Asked how much sleep he had been able to get since the arrival of his daughter, Denly said: "Very good last night because I stayed at the hotel, I got about 10 hours I think, the previous night I had about three hours, certainly caught up on that last night."

Denly's position in the team has come under scrutiny during a series in which he has surpassed 50 only three times.

After his hugely valuable effort at The Oval, however, Denly is hopeful of a place in the squad for England's tour of New Zealand.

"I think when you're batting at the top of the order for England there's always that pressure and expectation from England supporters for you to score runs and do well," he added.

"It's been frustrating this series to get starts and not being able to capitalise. I felt pretty good today, it's a very good bowling attack we're coming up against each game, which you expect at Test level but this Australia attack is certainly up there and make you work hard for every single run.

"Hopefully I've impressed the selectors and those guys that pick these winter tours and we'll just have to wait and see."

Joe Denly narrowly missed out on a first Test century but England punished the Australia attack to close day three of the fifth and final Ashes Test with a 382-run lead.

Needing a win to draw the series having already missed out on regaining the urn, England began day three with an advantage of 78 at The Oval.

Denly, whose wife gave birth to their second child on Friday, was the talisman for the hosts as they pressed home that advantage, the right-hander confident and fluent in compiling the highest score of his brief Test career.

The opener stuck 14 fours and a six and combined with Ben Stokes (67) for a crucial third-wicket partnership of 127 to take away any realistic chance the tourists had of winning the match.

Australia face the prospect of having to bat out the majority of the final two days to claim a first series win in England since 2001.

They did, however, deny Denly as the Kent batsman fell six runs shy of his maiden three-figure score in the longest format, though that will come as little solace following a chastening day in the field that ended with England 313-8 and 382 runs ahead.

Denly and opening partner Rory Burns provided an early indication of what was to follow by adding 45 to their overnight total before the latter bottom-edged Nathan Lyon (3-65) behind.

Lyon bolstered Australia's hopes by removing Joe Root cheaply for 21, but England's Headingley hero Stokes provided the ideal partner for Denly.

Their entertaining 221-ball stand saw the duo build an advantage that should prove a match-winning one, though they were each the subject of fortunate reprieves.

Stokes was dropped by Steve Smith and he and Denly, who reached his fourth Test half-century by striking Josh Hazlewood for four, made Australia count the cost of that missed opportunity.

In a theme that developed throughout the day, they consistently dispatched anything pitched wide, while Stokes showed relish in attacking the spin, sweeping Lyon for a four and six in successive deliveries.

He brought up his fifty by smacking a Marnus Labuschagne full toss for six, compounding Australia's frustration after Denly survived an lbw appeal off Mitchell Marsh they elected not to review, Hawkeye showing the ball would have hit the stumps.

Stokes, playing as a specialist batsman due to a shoulder injury, went to a stunning delivery from Lyon that should provide encouragement for England spinner Jack Leach in the final innings.

Denly came up short three overs later when he edged Peter Siddle (2-52) to slip, though his departure did not halt England's momentum.

Jos Buttler ​– who also escaped what should have been a successful claim for lbw – unfurled a series of wondrous cover drives en route to an eye-catching 47. He and Chris Woakes (6) were each dismissed by stunning catches as Australia made late inroads on a difficult day for the tourists.

 

A GAME TOO FAR FOR AUSSIES

The Australia attack, led by Pat Cummins, has had the edge for the majority of the series, but they looked tired, frustrated and out of ideas as England piled on the runs. Perhaps this was a game too far for Cummins and company.

STOKES ROUNDS OFF INCREDIBLE SUMMER

From his World-Cup winning display in arguably the greatest game ever at Lord's to his heroics in the third Test in Leeds, this truly has been the summer of Stokes for England. Though unable to contribute with the ball in this match, the all-rounder was again imperious with the bat in the second innings, and his stand with Denly looks like being one that ensures a drawn series.

MOMENT OF THE DAY

Denly will have been bitterly disappointed not to get to his century, with Siddle earning his reward for applying consistent pressure after he reached the nineties. However, the ovation he received as he left the field was richly deserved following a performance that should do his hopes of retaining a place in the line-up the power of good.

OPTA FACTS

- Ben Stokes has more 50s in this Test series than in any other (4).

- Stokes has surpassed 400 Ashes 2019 runs - the only England batsman to do so.

- Joe Root has averaged 32.5 in this Ashes; only once before has he recorded a lower rate in a multi-game home Test series (v Sri Lanka, 2016 - 21.8).

- Only the wicketkeepers have claimed more catches than Steve Smith (12) in the series.

- Only Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings have scored more Test runs as an opener for England since Andrew Strauss' retirement than Rory Burns.

Joe Denly and Ben Stokes pressed home England's advantage with an unbroken century stand in a wicket-less afternoon session on day three of the final Ashes Test at The Oval.

England, striving to secure a 2-2 series draw after the tourists retained the urn at Old Trafford, were 193-2 at tea on a sunny Saturday in London - leading by 262 runs on a good pitch.

Nathan Lyon removed Rory Burns (20) and Joe Root (21) before lunch, but Denly was unbeaten on his highest Test score of 82 not out after putting on 106 for the third wicket with Stokes (57no).

Stokes was dropped on seven by Steve Smith, while Denly - whose wife gave birth to their second child this week  - was fortunate not to be given out leg before off Mitchell Marsh after being put down by Marcus Harris on day three.

Harris was unable to field after having seven stitches in his left hand to repair split webbing sustained when he spilled Denly before he had got off the mark on Friday.

Burns and Denly started positively after England resumed on nine without loss, but the highest opening stand of the series was halted at 54 when the left-hander chased a wide one from Lyon and feathered behind.

Root fell tamely, edging the spinner to Smith at first slip before lunch, and Stokes should have departed in the same fashion, only for the best Test batsman in the world to drop a simple chance.

Denly, struck on the box by Pat Cummins in the morning session, had a fourth Test half-century courtesy of a wristy boundary off Josh Hazlewood.

Stokes swept Lyon for four and six off back-to-back deliveries and there was more frustration for Australia when Denly survived an lbw appeal off Marsh that should have been answered in the affirmative and Tim Paine opted not to review.

Vice-captain Stokes, playing as a specialist batsman due to a shoulder injury, raised his bat after hammering a Marnus Labuschagne full toss for six. Denly then brought up the century stand by driving the spinner for four as he closed in on a maiden Test hundred.

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