England are in no danger of allowing their euphoria at regaining the Ashes to obscure the amount of work still ahead of them, captain Andrew Strauss said on Wednesday.
Strauss was a member of the England team who were accused of losing their way because they had celebrated too hard and too long after the 2005 Ashes triumph,
"There are definitely lessons to be learned. The perception was we took the eye off the ball after the (2005) Ashes series," Strauss told reporters at the launch of his second book "Testing Times".
"Whether that's true or not, I think it's vitally important we don't do it this time. We haven't had a month off to bask in the glory of the Ashes, we've been playing cricket since then and we've had some tough times.
"I think there is very little danger of us thinking we're the genuine article at this stage. There's also a test tour to South Africa, they're the number one side in the world and that's a massive ask for us.
The extent of the challenge ahead of us is very motivating and exciting so we will keep grounded and it will also be a great gauge to see where we are at as a side."
Strauss said he thought England's current Test ranking of fifth in the world was a fair reflection of their current form.
"The way the guys stood up to pressure in the Ashes is very encouraging but sterner tests will follow," he said.
"The consistency aspect's crucial, if you look back to when Australia were dominating the world they could beat sides on any surface because they had great variety in their side.
"If we want to be the best side in the world, which is clearly a long-term goal of ours, then big improvements are required in that respect."
England play four Tests, five one-day matches and two Twenty20 internationals on their tour of South Africa starting next month.
The Test and one-day squads will be announced on Thursday with Kevin Pietersen likely to be recalled following Achilles surgery which kept him out of the final three Ashes tests. Infection to the scar tissue then forced him to miss the Champions Trophy.
Strauss said he thought Pietersen would have "a fantastic 12 months".
"He's one of the greatest players England have ever produced," he said.