India opener KL Rahul was ruled out of the first Test against Sri Lanka due to viral fever. But, when the regular Test opener hit the nets on Tuesday ahead of the second Test in Colombo starting Thursday, chief coach Ravi Shastri kept a close watch on him. "Rahul is (doing) good. We are watching him closely. He went through some tough times and he was in the hospital for 2-3 days. Obviously, it has taken a lot out of him," Shastri said during a media interaction.
"So we have to be very careful how we treat him, we are watching him very closely and he is getting better by the day," Shastri said ahead of the second Test beginning Thursday.
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.
Ahead of the three-match series, Rahul had scored a fine half-century in the one-off tour match in Colombo, his first competitive game in close to three months after an injury lay-off.
Like skipper Virat Kohli, Shastri also spoke in same vein about having a good bench strength, now that Rahul is getting fit and Abhinav Mukund keeping himself in the hunt with an 81 in the second innings of the first Test.
"When I have good bench strength, it is very good. When there is competition for places even better because that's healthy competition and a good headache to have. Where you know if someone is injured someone else is ready and that is across all formats.
"It is very good but ideally you want your core team to be fit and on the park as often as possible," said Shastri.
(With PTI inputs)