James Anderson struck twice as India slumped to 11 for two before rain stopped play after 30 minutes of the second day of the second Test against England at Lord's on Friday.
After rain washed out Thursday's first day without a ball bowled, England captain Joe Root decided to field when he won the toss.
Although the skies above Lord's were then blue and sunny, they soon clouded over and combined with a green-tinged pitch made conditions favourable for England's pacemen.
They were ideal for swing specialist Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, who started this match needing just six more wickets to become the first bowler to take 100 wickets in Tests at Lord's.
It took the 36-year-old just five balls to move nearer that landmark when, in the first over of the day, he bowled Murali Vijay for a duck with a superb outswinger that left India nought for one.
And India were 10 for two when KL Rahul, India's other opener, was caught behind off Anderson for eight.
Two balls later, after half an hour's action, the umpires halted play because of rain which was soon lashing down.
India were 11 for two off 6.3 overs, with Anderson having taken two wickets for six runs in 3.3 overs.
Both Cheteshwar Pujara and India captain Virat Kohli were unbeaten on one.
England lead this five-match series 1-0 after a 31-run victory in the first Test at Edgbaston last week.
England, looking to take advantage of a green-tinged pitch, made two changes from the side that beat India by 31 runs in the first Test at Edgbaston last week to go 1-0 up in this five-match series.
As confirmed by England captain Joe Root on Wednesday, Surrey batsman Ollie Pope was given a Test debut in place of Dawid Malan, who was dropped after a run of low scores.
England were without Ben Stokes because of his ongoing trial on a charge of affray in Bristol.
Fellow pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes came into the side in Stokes's absence, with off-spinner Moeen Ali dropped from a squad where uncapped Essex pace bowler Jamie Porter had already been released.
India also made two changes, with Cheteshwar Pujara coming in after struggling opener Shikhar Dhawan was dropped and left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who caused England problems in the preceding white-ball series, replacing paceman Umesh Yadav.
Kuldeep's inclusion meant India played two spinners, with off-break bowler Ravichandran Ashwin, who starred at Edgbaston, retained.
"We would have bowled first," said India captain Virat Kohli following the toss.
"The wicket looks good -- it's a hard pitch, it's very dry," the world's top-ranked Test and one-day international batsman added. "Everyone is going to be in the game.
"The guys are feeling confident; it's just about getting the mental aspect right.
"We've got to up for the battle, ready to do the dirty work."