Pandya's sharp, incisive medium pacers give Kohli the cushion to play five genuine bowlers, and his big-hitting prowess the flexibility to utilise him either as a finisher in big chases, or prop him up the order to boost the run rate while setting targets.
Fighting a spate of injury concerns throughout the tournament, Australia will be without their talismanic all-rounder Ellyse Perry in the final but will have Sophie Molineux and Megan Schutt to bank on.
England will know that they cannot afford to take one false step because this is a different Indian team from the one they played at Lord's, with proven match-winners in Shafali Verma and Poonam Yadav.
On Thursday in Melbourne, Shafali won her second Player of the Match award in three games at the women’s T20 World Cup. Her 34-ball 46 against New Zealand took India to their third win in three games — and the semi-final.
From the tepid displays of his batsmen to the manner in which the two premier fast bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were rendered ineffective, India captain Virat Kohli will have a lot to ponder about when his sits down to introspect this capitulation.