India win top of Lane's wishlist
Mark Lane already knows what he wants for Christmas: a first series win in India.
Lane has overseen unprecedented success in 2009 but the ambitious coach has drawn up his wishlist for the next 12 months and that includes success on the sub-continent.
England thrashed India on home soil in a one-day and Twenty20 series in 2008 and heaped further misery on the same opponents by defeating them in the World Cup and World Twenty20.
But Lane has warned his players to expect an entirely different challenge when they travel to India in February for five ODIs and three Twenty20 matches.
"India on their own soil will be a difficult test for us," Lane told ecb.co.uk. "They are much more effective at home than when they play in England.
"There is a culture change. It will be very humid; we will have to adapt which is what good sides do. It's really exciting, though. They love their cricket.
"We've never won a series in India so I'm excited about trying to win there. It's also great preparation for the World Cup which is in India in 2013."
After sweeping all before them to win the World Cup, World Twenty20 and retain the Ashes, England ended the year in disappointing fashion when they surprisingly lost both the one-day and Twenty20 series in the West Indies.
Lane admitted there were a few home truths at the conclusion of that tour and hopes to see a marked improvement when the team resumes duty.
"After losing badly in the West Indies it's a good chance for us to correct what went wrong," he said. "We want to prove that that was a blip.
"We are trying to improve. We are silly to think we are the finished article because we are not.
"There are individual goals, which if the players achieve the team will get better. We want our batters to score more fifties and hundreds, we want our bowlers to take more wickets. We are very focused."
After India Lane will turn his attention to the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and a summer home series with New Zealand.
Charlotte Edwards lifted the Twenty20 trophy on a glorious day at Lord's in June but Lane insists retaining the title will be harder than winning it for the first time.
"It's going to be harder this time around. When you are the current holders, teams want to beat you. We have to be ready for that.
"Having been in the West Indies recently, where we were really well looked after, I'm sure it will be a magnificent event.
"We then play New Zealand, which will be an exciting series. It will be two really good teams playing aggressive cricket. I'm sure they will want to get revenge for us beating them in the final of the World Cup and World Twenty20."
Lane added that it is not just on the field where improvements are being made. While the current crop of players are at the summit of world cricket, Lane is desperately keen to ensure the pool of emerging talent is well stocked to make sure there is competition for places.
Overseeing this will be Paul Shaw, who was recently appointed high performance manager.
"I'm delighted he's on board," said Lane. "He will be a great addition to what is already a world-class staff."
But for the time being, Lane can put his coaching clipboard away and look forward to a first Christmas at home with baby Lilly and his partner Katy.
"After spending so much time away this year, it will be lovely to be home," he added.