Andrew Strauss sets England winter tour challenge

England captain Andrew Strauss says his team still need to improve if they are to succeed on their winter tours.

The world number side play three Tests against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi before two matches in Sri Lanka.

"It's very different out there in the heat and humidity, so we need to keep adapting our skills," said Strauss.

"Winning away from home is more difficult. That's an area of the world where we still need to improve, and it's going to be a big challenge."

England wrapped up a 4-0 series whitewash over India with an innings-and-eight-run win over the tourists at The Oval on Monday.

It's been up there with the best series we've played as a group.

Andrew Strauss

Strauss's men are unbeaten in their last nine Test series, and England have not tasted a series defeat at home since 2008 - against South Africa.

"We should be competitive in our conditions against anyone in the world," added the Middlesex opener.

"Away from home is harder, so we're going to have to challenge ourselves to improve away from home.

"We've got some very stern challenges ahead this winter in the sub-continent."

Off-spinner Graeme Swann took 6-106 at The Oval to bowl England to their seventh innings victory in their last 13 Tests.

"It was an outstanding effort again, enforcing the follow-on asked a lot of the bowlers and they responded superbly," added Strauss.

"We've had a lot of victories over the last couple of years and we expect to win matches now."

After comfortably winning the first three Tests, England continued their dominant form at The Oval with Ian Bell scoring a Test-best 235 as the hosts built a commanding first innings total of 591-6 before declaring.

India were bowled out for 300 in their first innings, and once Sachin Tendulkar fell as the tourists followed-on, England ripped through the tail, taking seven wickets for 21 runs to underline their status as the new world number one side in the Test rankings.

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Between them, England's Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell scored 264 more runs than Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Dhoni, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag and Gautim Gambhir combined in the fourth Test.

Another proud man was coach Andy Flower, who highlighted the team's strong work ethic and Strauss' leadership for their recent good form.

"These are brilliant moments," said Flower. "The players have worked extraordinarily hard to get their skills and their conditioning up, and they walk over that boundary rope and make good decisions under pressure.

"Also really good leadership from Strauss, you see that in all facets, and really good work by [batting coach] Graham Gooch and some of our support staff, you can see that in some big first-innings scores and the fielding standards."