With deepest apologies to Walt Whitman, who wrote O Captain my Captain I begin this story of a friendship that has spanned two decades.
When he first called me, Murali Kartik referred to me as sir, likely from having been in Delhi as long as he had, and I was working for the Cricinfo website. I had written a very complimentary piece on this left-arm spinner and yet he called with a complaint.
Apparently, in the statistics I had quoted I had missed a wicket he had taken. I double checked with Mohandas Menon, the pre-eminent statistician in India cricket at the time and he confirmed that I was not wrong. Politely but firmly I told Kartik it was best he concentrated on taking wickets and left the counting of the same to the rest of us.