Ricky Ponting is already bracing himself for the reaction of the Australian public when he arrives back home alone - without the Ashes.
Ponting is set to leave the tour, as previously planned, to spend some time Down Under while the remainder of his team prepare for the start of the limited-overs leg.
Asked how he expects to be received on his return, he said: "I'll find out in a day and a half when I get off the plane. I'll be answering some questions. You always do when you lose a game or a series like this. It's part of the job, what leaders are expected to do."
Ponting insists, however, the soul-searching will never involve any crisis of confidence in his own ability - hinting too that he may yet end up back in England in four years' time to see if he can make it third time lucky, having also lost the Ashes for the first time in a generation in 2005.
"I've never doubted myself on anything I've ever done when I've had the baggy green cap on," he said.
"I always get out there and accept challenges the best that I can."
Despite the passing encouragement of a 127-run third-wicket stand with Michael Hussey (121), Ponting and co were bowled out for 348 on the fourth evening - in vain pursuit of a world-record 546 run chase.
"I wanted to make a hundred, to be the last man out," he said.
"I couldn't do that. As a leader and a captain, I wanted to do as well as I possibly could - be the captain that won here.
"But I haven't been able to do that either. I'm disappointed with my own performances, and the other guys are as well."