Australia have been on the losing side for most part of this season but the eight-wicket defeat against South Africa in Adelaide was the worst of the summer, says skipper Ricky Ponting.
"By a long way ... Right through the Test series and then the first three games of this series, we'd
been right in the contest right up until the last over or the last couple of overs of every game," he was quoted as saying in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation report.
South Africa became the first team since 1993 to beat Australia at home both in the Test and ODI series. The Proteas have an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match ODI series after they won the Test series 2-1.
Ponting said he wasn't too happy with his own batting form despite being top runscorer for Australia in the one-day matches.
"The four games that we've played I've got 46, 60-odd, 60-odd and 30 so for me in a number three position it's not good enough," he said.
"I've got to go on and get bigger scores but a few of us are in the same boat as well. Once we're in and away we've got to take the responsibility and bat through the innings and none of us have done that," he added.
Ponting lauded the South Africans for their consistency.
"They're doing a lot of things well. As I've said we've been in positions every game to try and capitalise on things and we've let them slip ... Very much the same as the Test series," he said.
"We've shown glimpses of some very good cricket but the distance between our good cricket and our bad cricket is too vast," he added.