Clarke’s men – who are still ranked No.1 in the world in the 50-over format by one point ahead of England and South Africa – were made to look second-rate in the series, in which they took just 14 wickets and struggled with the bat.
While England were impressive, Clarke said Australia had not been playing as well as they would have liked for some time and knows they must be more consistent in the future.
“We knew through the Australian summer we weren’t playing as good a cricket as we needed to be against Sri Lanka and India,” Clarke said.
“We went to the West Indies and just got over the line there. So it’s not like this is the first series where we haven’t played as well as we’ve liked, it has been the last 12 months.
“Our one-day cricket hasn’t been as consistent as it needs to be if we want to stay at the top of the table. Hence how close the first, second, third and fourth are on the ranking points. We have a lot of work to do as a one day team, that’s for sure.
“We need to play better cricket. Whatever it is we need to sit down as a team and have a look at our performances over the last 12 months and the areas we need to get better.”
Clarke rejected suggestions Australia had not prepared well for the series and sang the praises of an England side who were completely dominant.
“I think it certainly wasn’t preparation,” he said.
“I thought our training was outstanding and we played some really good cricket in a couple of warm up games. Injuries don’t help, but we have no excuses.
“I think a lot of credit needs to go to England. They have outplayed us in all four matches. They have been very consistent. Their bowlers have bowled with patience and discipline and their batters have made runs.
“We haven’t done both, we didn’t have anyone make a big score as a batter. We lost a lot of early wickets throughout the whole series, and we didn’t execute our skills as well as we should have against a good batting line up.”
Australia now travel to the United Arab Emirates for a three-match one-day international series three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan.