Ashes 2013-14: Alastair Cook says England did not 'throw in the towel'
England captain Alastair Cook denied his side gave up as they were bowled out for just 166 in less than three hours to seal a crushing 281-run defeat in the fifth Test.
Australia completed a 5-0 whitewash inside three days in Sydney as five wickets for Ryan Harris and three for Mitchell Johnson - taking him to 37 for the series - blew England away.
"I don't think we threw in the towel. It's been a combination of four and a half Test matches under the pump. It's all gone pretty wrong," said Cook.
"If it was a boxing match it would have been stopped. There is a lot of frustration that we have not played very well.
"We have been totally outplayed, and that is the hardest thing to take."
No England batsman managed 300 runs across the series, while six Australians have made at least that, and the hosts' tally of 10 centuries dwarfs England's one.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan told BBC Sport: "I've lost words to describe how England played. That was pathetic - it was always going to happen but there's a way to lose.
"I have never seen an England team throw in the towel, but they did this afternoon. Our senior core of players have not been able to get into any sort of form.
"The Australian wagon got into motion at Brisbane and England have not been able to cope since. That last innings there showed how frazzled the team is."
Former England opener Geoff Boycott told Test Match Special: "It's pathetic - there is no other word. It's humiliation. This is a worse loss than when we lost before 5-0 because they had great players like [Glenn] McGrath, [Shane] Warne and [Adam] Gilchrist last time. England have just disintegrated."
Cook was dismissed for seven as England were routed in 31.4 overs after being set a nominal 448 to win, Australia having been bowled out for 276 before lunch.
He ended the series with 246 runs at an average of 24, three years after his 766 runs at 127 played a huge part in England's 3-1 Ashes win down under.
The Essex batsman said: "I feel pretty chastened. It's a tough moment for us all; we deserve nothing less. That was the best bowling attack I have faced in my career.
"One thing we've done pretty well is stuck together. At times like this, factions can corner off in the dressing room; there can be back-stabbing. That hasn't happened.
"I'm proud of the way the lads have stuck at it, but we have been outplayed in the majority of each day and each session and that is a hard thing to take."
Cook confirmed he wants to carry on as captain, but coach Andy Flower admitted it was the "end of an era" for the team and set-up.
Flower said: "This wasn't good enough, so there should be change of some description. It needs wise people making good decisions at the top."