Less than a day after becoming the world number one-ranked Test nation, India made a solid start in the fourth Test against West Indies, picking up two wickets before rain halted play for the day in Trinidad.
India assumed the top Test spot on the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings when Australia lost the third Test in their series against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
But the stay at the top could be short lived, as India need to beat the West Indies in the fourth Test to stop Pakistan from taking over top position.
West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and batted, hoping to capitalise on a slow wicket after a wet outfield delayed the start of play by half an hour.
Pace bowler Sharma did not open the attack, but after biding his time in the field for 11 overs struck with his first ball, a rising delivery that Leon Johnson, on nine, could only fend into the diving hands of Rohit Sharma at short leg.
The Windies had already survived an scare earlier after Bhuvneshwar Kumar — who took five wickets in the first innings of the third Test — struck the outside edge of Kraigg Brathwaite’s bat four times, without getting his man.
Off-spinner Ashwin dismissed Darren Bravo in the 15th over with a beautiful delivery that pitched on leg stump and turned to take the number three’s off stump.
Brathwaite was unbeaten on 32 when rain stopped play, with Marlon Samuels on four.
Umpires subsequently suspended play for the day as the rain continued and the outfield become increasingly waterlogged.
West Indies brought in leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo for pace bowler Alzarri Joseph.