KL Rahul has been ruled out* of the Galle Test on July 26 with viral fever. He had missed the training on Monday, staying back in Colombo for observation even as the rest of the squad travelled south on Sunday. The BCCI’s medical team has advised the India opener further rest “as a precautionary measure”.
Rahul was coming out of an injury lay-off after he hurt his shoulder during the Test series against Australia in February-March this year. He played through pain to end as third-highest run-getter in the series but missed the IPL, the Champions Trophy and the West Indies tour to recover from the injury. On his comeback he scored a quick fifty in the two-day warm-up match in Moratuwa, but he said he was nervous making his comeback after such a long lay-off.
“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?”
India’s openers have been struggling with injury and illness for a long time now with the slots becoming a revolving door. M Vijay is already out as he has not fully recovered after the surgery on the wrist that he hurt during the Australia series. The two other openers in the squad are Abhinav Mukund and Shikhar Dhawan.
* GMT 0915 The story was updated with the BCCI’s confirmation of Rahul’s unavailability