They broughtÂ unprecedented cheer to their supporters last year. The tale in the ongoing Indian Premier League though has been the exact opposite for defending champions Mumbai Indians. Seventh in the points table, the team has failed to mount a fight that would give fans a reason to smile like last year - a fact acknowledged by pacer Lasith Malinga.
Mumbai have just won three of their 10 matches in the ongoing Indian Premier League so far. Despite big names in the playing XI and even bigger names in supporting roles, including legendary Sachin Tendulkar, the team has crumbled from its podium - and quite dramatically at that.
"Things have not clicked this year. Our fans are wonderful and it hurts when we let them down," wrote Malinga in his column for national daily, on Monday.
The Sri Lankan pace-demon has been with the Mumbai franchise for seven years now and has seen the team through highs and lows. Interestingly though, Malinga has claimed 16 wickets from sevenÂ matches this season (average of 15.81; economy of 6.45) which is better than his performance last year when Mumbai won the IPL title.
In 2013, he claimed 20 wickets from 17 matches (average of 23.40; economy of 7.16). His improved showing though has not translated into wins for his side. "It (IPL 2014) has been very disappointing. Our top-order batting has not clicked," the Sri Lankan wrote in his column.
While experts and cricket fans may have completely given up on Mumbai's chances of making it to the playoffs, Malinga remains hopeful.
"Qualification is perhaps unlikely, but not impossible. Win all four games and we will have 14 points. If our net run-rate improves while we do that then, who knows, we might get lucky."
Malinga, of course, won't be available for Mumbai Indians any more. He is in the UK for the ongoing series against England.