South Africa captain Faf du Plessis paved the way for resignation or retirement after his side's latest Test defeat by England, admitting: "I can't do it forever."
Du Plessis has led the Proteas for the past four years but finds himself under mounting pressure after presiding over seven defeats in his last eight Tests.
England's day-five triumph in Port Elizabeth was the third of those to come by an innings following similar humblings by India in Pune and Ranchi, and the 35-year-old cut a weary figure as he fielded questions on his future.
While scotching any suggestions that he would throw in the towel before the concluding Test in Johannesburg, which begins on Friday, he opened the door to passing on the baton soon.
"We are in a transition but I can't do it forever and it has been chipping away at (my) character," he said. "I've heard there's a lot of rumours about retirement. I try to block it out, as one should do, but obviously myself and everyone else are not robots.
"There's one more massive Test where we need everyone to be as strong as possible to try and draw the series but, after that, there is quite a big gap and there is an opportunity to release some of the captaincy, especially in one-day cricket to make sure we look forward to the future.
"For now it's just about trying to be the strongest leader I can be. The worst thing a leader can do is pull the plug mid-series."