LONDON (AFP) - England captain Andrew Strauss urged his side to use their Ashes series triumph as a stepping stone to further success after a dramatic fifth Test win over Australia here at the Oval. Victory, by the dominating margin of 197 runs and with more than a day to spare, saw England take the series 2-1. Four years ago England won the Ashes by the same margin but then lost a series on their ensuing tour of Pakistan. It was the start of a run of four years of largely lacklustre results. Rather than being a springboard, winning the 2005 Ashes became a summit from which England made a rapid descent. Strauss, a member of that England team, recognised the dangers inherent in Ashes hype after a triumph that saw his side knock Australia off the number one spot in the world Test rankings but still left his side in fifth place. "We are not the number one side the world, we are from it at the moment," said Strauss, the player of the series after leading from the front with 474 runs at an average of over 52 including 161 in England's second Test win at Lord's. "I think we are honest enough to know that. To become the number one side in the world you have to win consistently home and away. "Our next challenge is a massive one, away in South Africa. South Africa is probably as hard a tour as you can go on but we can take confidence from this. Our goal is obviously to be number one in the world. "Last time we were stepping into the unknown, nobody in the team had ever won an Ashes series. I think also we have got to be conscious that this is a stepping stone." This win was made all the more impressive by the fact that just a few weeks earlier the same Australia side had thrashed England by an innings and 80 runs at Headingley to win the fourth Test and level the series. But the England selectors were rewarded at the Oval for keeping faith with pace bowler Stuart Broad, who took five for 37 - a return labelled "exceptional" by Australia captain Ricky Ponting - as the tourists collapsed to 160 all out in their first innings.And they also saw their decision to give Jonathan Trott a debut vindicated by the South Africa-born batsman make 119 in the hosts' second innings, his century helping leave Australia with a mammoth victory target of 546 "It's an amazing day and it's one that seemed a long way off after Headingley," said Strauss."We've got a young side, we can get a lot better than we are at the moment. We are pretty inconsistent as we've ably demonstrated this series. But we've shown some guts and determination and some character. "Stuart Broad has come back after a tough first Two test matches and bowled as well as he has done. That says a lot for his character. "And the way Jonathan Trott came into this game, you look at it and it stuns you really. But everyone has turned up, in an Ashes series there is nowhere to hide." Australia dominated the batting and bowling averages this series but still lost. "I think it just shows that when we are bad we are very bad and when we are good we are very good," said Strauss. "At the important moments we came good, we bowled them out cheaply in the first innings which was absolutely crucial and we dug in and got runs."This series was a personal triumph for Strauss, praised for "leading from the front" by Ponting, after he was thrust into the England captaincy in January following the fall-out from Kevin Pietersen's resignation.A month later England were bowled out for 51 by the West Indies in Jamaica. "It seems a lot longer than seven or eight months ago when I took over. "We were in a pretty bad state to be honest with you," Strauss admitted before paying tribute to coach Andy Flower, promoted into his position after predecessor Peter Moores was sacked following the Pietersen fiasco. "You guys probably don't see a lot of the work he does, the way he deals with players and drives us," Strauss said of the former Zimbabwe batsman. The two men have dovetailed well and Strauss added: "I can do stuff on the pitch but you need people to support you." It was in December 2007 that Strauss was dropped from the England team after a run of low scores but he revived his career with a 'last chance' 177 against New Zealand in Napier in March 2008 and has not looked back since."I was struggling with my game. I came back and was determined to enjoy every Test match I played in," Strauss said. "It was a bit of catalyst which turned my form around and I suppose the captaincy has helped with my batting as well."