India opener KL Rahul has been ruled out of the first Test against Sri Lanka starting on July 26 with viral fever. Rahul missed the team's training session on Monday at Galle, the venue for the match, and stayed back in Colombo as he was under observation. The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) medical team has advised the 25-year-old further rest as a "precautionary measure".
"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," said the BCCI in the statement.
"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," it added.
Rahul scored a fine half century in a tour match in Colombo, his first competitive game in close to three months due to an injury lay-off.
In Rahul's absence, 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.
"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?," he added.