Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian cricket team, led by Virat Kohli, landed here in a special flight, around noon on Tuesday. The players were accorded a warm welcome at the hotel. Fans crowded the airport and received the players with cheers and slogans.

India are in Kerala capital for the fifth and final ODI against the West Indies, to be played on Thursday. The hosts hold a 2-1 lead and will look to seal the series.

Also read: India thrash West Indies by 224 runs for record win

Skipper Kohli said he was delighted to be in God’s Own Country for the match.

“Kerala’s natural beauty and hospitality are great. I love to come to Kerala. The energy I get from here is very important. This place is very safe. I invite all people here to experience its beauty. My special thanks to Kerala for making me happy,” Kohli wrote in the visitor’s book at Kovalam Raviz Hotels and Resorts.

The team had reached Thiruvananthapuram in a chartered flight after a delay of one hour, from Mumbai, where they played the fourth ODI and won with a record margin of 224 runs, their biggest ODI win against a Test nation.

The “Men in Blue”, who are staying in Kovalam Raviz Hotel, will practice at Greenfield Stadium on Wednesday. 

The ODI will be played on Kerala formation day. November 1 marks the 62nd anniversary of Kerala Piravi aka Kerala formation day as the state, in its current form. It was officially formed on the same day in 1956.