Injury-prone India opener KL Rahul has been ruled out of the first Test starting July 26 against Sri Lanka due to viral fever, according to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) release. "The BCCI medical team confirms that opening batsman Mr. KL Rahul is presently down with viral fever. There are no major health concerns and he is making rapid progress, much to the satisfaction of the medical team," the release said.
"As a precautionary measure, Mr. KL Rahul is advised further rest and hence will not be available for selection for the first Test match against Sri Lanka, which starts on July 26 at Galle," the release added.
Rahul scored a fine half century in a tour match in Colombo, his first competitive game in close to four months due to an injury lay-off. He is now down with fever and did not travel with the team from Colombo. He also missed Monday's practice session here. Now, Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund are likely to open for India.
The team's other regular opener, Murali Vijay, too pulled out of the series at the last minute saying he had not fully recovered from a wrist injury.
After making a solid 54 against Sri Lanka Board President's XI in Moratuwa last week, Rahul had said that he was nervous about his fitness.
"You know that you are physically fit and you have done everything that you can, worked really hard, you are feeling stronger, you are feeling fitter," Rahul told bcci.tv.
"But the mind always tells you what if it happens again, what if you have to go through the same grind for three months, what if your shoulder is not ready, what if you [have] come back early?"
The Karnataka batsman had just come out of a four-month long break after he injured his shoulder during the four-match series against Australia.